Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: I want to obtain full custody of my children right now their dad has not seen them in months but is paying child support he has had trouble with the law and has been in jail and also problems with drugs how can I file for full custody and is that something that can be granted or what will it take for that to be granted..

Answer: No one can fully answer your question without more information.  Are you and dad married?  Are you divorced?  Were the two of you never married?  How old are the children?  If there has been no court action, married parents are presumed to have equal custody rights.  Unless there is a court order, if the parents never married and the children are small, mother is normally presumed to have primary custody.  Everything depends on the circumstances of the individual case.  If you have concerns about the father, you have the right to go to family court and petition for full custody.  The courts now call custody legal decision-making.  They call visitation parenting time.  If you decide to handle this on your own, the forms and instructions can be found on the court's website.  Go to: https://www.azcourts.gov/selfservicecenter/Family-Law-Forms.  However, it may be a good idea to get some legal advice.  You can meet with a lawyer, bring any documents you have and discuss the specifics of your case.  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 want to obtain full custody of my children right now their dad has not seen them in months but is paying child support he has had trouble with the law and has been in jail and also problems with drugs how can I file for full custody and is that something that can be granted or what will it take for that to be granted..

STORIES

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  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .

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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
    800-799-7233
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
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