Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: I have joint custody of my 2 older children, my youngest child I am engaged to her father and we are living together. My two oldest children's fathers pay child support well one does other hasn't and don't. My oldest child father is involved but my 2nd child father hasn't called, hasn't seen her,nothing in like 6 years (she doesn't want to see him). All children live with me and my fiance. I was wondering if my fiance could adopt them with me so we both have custody of them together & how would the child support work?

Answer: If the oldest child has a relationship with the father (you say dad is involved and pays child support), your fiance would not be able to adopt unless the natural father is willing to relinquish his paternal rights.  Many fathers are unwilling to agree to that.  With the circumstances you have described, severing his parental rights without his agreement may be impossible. The due process clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects a parent's fundamental right to his or her child.  Cruz v. Garcia 240 Ariz 234 (App. 2016).  According to your description, the father of your second child has not seen the child nor has he paid support in six years.  You may be able to sever his rights based on abandonment.  You would need to go to court, serve him with papers and present evidence that he has abandoned the child.  You may want to speak with a lawyer because this is not a cut and dried process with readily available forms.  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 have joint custody of my 2 older children, my youngest child I am engaged to her father and we are living together. My two oldest children's fathers pay child support well one does other hasn't and don't. My oldest child father is involved but my 2nd child father hasn't called, hasn't seen her,nothing in like 6 years (she doesn't want to see him). All children live with me and my fiance. I was wondering if my fiance could adopt them with me so we both have custody of them together & how would the child support work?

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