Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: I'm the father and I have a drug problem, I'm temporarily moving to Utah to go to rehab and be with family. Is there a form I can file proving I'm not abandoning my son in case she files for custody?

Answer: It is not clear from your question what your current custody (now called legal decision-making) situation is.  Are you and the mother married?  Are you divorced?  Perhaps, you and the mother have never married.  If you are currently married to the mother, the law presumes both parents have equal custody.  If you and the mother never married, but you are the legal father and there is no custody order in place, it is a bit up in the air.  Without a custody order, you have full parenting rights.  If there is a current order granting joint custody, the law requires you to maintain contact with the child.  Even in rehab, you should be able to send cards and letters to the child.  For more detailed information based on your specific circumstances, you need to talk to a lawyer.  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 hours.  the telephone number is (866) 637-5341.  Both Maricopa County and Pima County have lawyer referral programs that offer a 30 minute consult with an attorney.  Maricopa County's Lawyer Referral Service offers a 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.

QUESTIONS

  • I'm the father and I have a drug problem, I'm temporarily moving to Utah to go to rehab and be with family. Is there a form I can file proving I'm not abandoning my son in case she files for custody?

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OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • 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
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
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