An Abuse Allegation Against You Has Been “Substantiated”: Now What?

By Gregg Woodnick and Isabel Ranney A DCS Investigation Crystal is the mother of three-month-old Michael and six-year-old Grace. A few months ago, she was the subject of a Department of Child Safety (DCS) investigation when Michael fractured his leg after a fall in the park. The attending physician at Phoenix Children’s Hospital believed the […]

6 years post-Obergefell: Same-sex parenting rights in Arizona

By Claudia D. Work and Isabel Ranney Originally Published September 24, 2021 on OUTvoices Phoenix. The path to the landmark ruling of Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) was a long and arduous one, filled with decades of small victories and crushing losses, many of which went unrecognized. When same-sex marriage was finally deemed constitutional by the […]

How Long Does Arizona DCS Have to Investigate an Allegation?

By Deandra Arena and Isabel Ranney Suppose five-year-old Lucas tells his Kindergarten teacher that his dad hits him and that is why he has a faint bruise on his leg. As a mandatory reporter under A.R.S. § 13-3620, Lucas’ teacher calls the DCS hotline and reports her “reasonable belief” that Lucas may be abused or […]

How the Medical “Code of Silence” Affects Child Abuse Litigation

By Gregg Woodnick and Isabel Ranney Despite being the fifth-largest city in the United States, Phoenix only has seven board-certified pediatric orthopedic surgeons, five of whom work at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Because of their specialty, it is safe to presume that the surgeons all know each other from their professional community and any conferences they […]

The Hague in Arizona

By: Leslie A. Satterlee and Markus Risinger Custody battles always involve heartbreak and they are never an easy process for anyone involved. However, imagine going through a custody battle across international borders.  For example: Maria and Jeff got married and settled in Scottsdale. They then had three beautiful children. However, after 15 years of marriage, they both decide to get a […]

Do You Handle High Net Worth Divorces?

By: Leslie A. Satterlee & Gregg R. Woodnick You would be surprised how often I hear this question.  I hear it during formal consultations in our office and often in passing sitting at the bleachers while making small talk with parents on one of my kids’ sports teams. I used to just say “yes” or […]

The Boston Globe Weighs in on CAPTA Compliance

The Boston Globe recently published an important article analyzing every state’s compliance with Federal Child Abuse and Treatment Act of 1974 (“CAPTA”). Shockingly, the article concludes that no State is fully compliant with CAPTA’s requirements. However, Arizonian’s should be especially concerned because Arizona was the ONLY State that refused to share information regarding its CAPTA compliance, calling it “a time consuming, lengthy, non-value added survey.”

The Huxtable Divorce: Pop Culture Series

Everyone remembers Cliff and Claire Huxtable and their kids living a chaotic yet loving life. TV has the ability to show humor and conflict and wrap it all up in a bow in less than 30 minutes. But what if the Huxtable marriage fell apart like nearly half of all marriages in America?

Did the DCS/CPS Caseworker Really Just Tell Me That I Don’t Need a Lawyer?

Something that has confounded me since day one of practicing law in Phoenix, and all throughout the state of Arizona, is that DCS case managers frequently tell parents they are investigating for child abuse or neglect that they do not need a lawyer.  Sure, the early stages of their investigation may not involve the Juvenile Court or the DCS lawyer (Arizona Attorney General’s Office), but it does involve the parents’ constitutionally protected, fundamental right to parent their children.