Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: I am a single mother of a 12 year old -turning 13 in less than a month- my son was born out of wedlock in Las Vegas, NV (Paternity was established) When he was about a year old, his father decided to leave. After we broke up, he then stayed in NV for a couple of months, then moved back to Mexico. My son and I moved to AZ in 2009. We have been residing here since then. Father has not made an effort to see/talk to son. He does NOT pay child support and he lives in Mexico City according to his Facebook Profile, what can I do to obtain sole custody/full decision making regarding my son?

Answer: You can file a petition in Superior Court in the County where you live for legal decision-making (custody).  In the petition, you can state that father now lives in Mexico City, has had no contact with the child and pays no child support.  Your position is more secure with a legal order in place. You may also decide to ask the court to sever his parental rights.  It is in your best interests to lay everything out with an attorney and get detailed legal advice.  There are three programs in Arizona that you can use to get inexpensive legal advice and guidance.  One is the modest means program.  You will need to apply for the program and meet the financial qualifications.  Once you are qualified, Modest Means will send you a list of attorneys whose practice covers your area of concern.  You select a lawyer from the list and will be entitled to a one hour consultation for $75.  If you need additional help and if the lawyer agrees to take your case, the most you will be charged is  $75 per  hour.  The telephone number is (866) 637-5341.  Both Maricopa and Pima Counties have lawyer referral programs that offer a 30 minute consult with an attorney.  Maricopa County's Lawyer Referral Service offers its 30 minute consult with an experienced attorney for $40.  The telephone number is (602) 257-4434.  Pima County's Lawyer Referral Service offers a 30 minute attorney consult for $35.  The telephone number is (520) 623-4625.   If you decide to go it alone, you can find forms and instructions on the website of the Arizona Superior Court.  You will need to serve the father, bu if you do not know where he lives and cannot find out after a diligent search, you may be able to serve him by publication.  The family law forms can be found at https://www.azcourts.gov/selfservicecenter/Family-Law-Forms.

QUESTIONS

  • I am a single mother of a 12 year old -turning 13 in less than a month- my son was born out of wedlock in Las Vegas, NV (Paternity was established) When he was about a year old, his father decided to leave. After we broke up, he then stayed in NV for a couple of months, then moved back to Mexico. My son and I moved to AZ in 2009. We have been residing here since then. Father has not made an effort to see/talk to son. He does NOT pay child support and he lives in Mexico City according to his Facebook Profile, what can I do to obtain sole custody/full decision making regarding my son?

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  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
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