Visitation

questions & answers

Question: If I have legal sole custody of my child, what rights does the other parent have in regard to visitation? Other parent has never been involved, which is why I have sole custody and she has my last name, but he recently decided he wants visitation. He expects unsupervised visits and upon his availability. Also, what should I do to protect mine and my baby’s (15 months) rights? I’m assuming it’s not so simple to just come in and get visitation rights after not being involved at all for all those months.

Answer: You need to look to the custody order to see what rights the other parent has regarding visitation.  If the order gives him visitation rights (The order may say parenting time), then he is entitled to visitation unless you take some action.  Courts are reluctant to deny a parent visitation unless there is a very good reason.  If you decide you need to modify the custody order (now called legal decision making), you will need to do so through family court.  If there is no custody order in place, then you will need to file a request for a determination of custody with the court.  Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 25-403 grants family court the power to decide legal decision making and parenting time (custody and visitation) based on the best interests of the child.  Section 25-411 sets out the grounds for modifying custody.  You can file on your own by going to the Arizona Superior Court website (www.azcourts.gov) and obtaining forms and instructions.  Click on the self-help center and look in the section for family law.  You may also want to discuss the issue with a lawyer who handles family court matters.  There are 3 programs in Arizona that you can use to get some inexpensive legal advice and guidance.  One is the Modest Means Program.  For a $75.00 fee, the Modest Means Program will arrange a one hour consult with an experienced attorney.  The telephone number is (866) 637-5341. Both the Maricopa County Bar Association and the Pima County Bar Association have lawyer referral services that offer a 30 minute consult with an experienced attorney.  Maricopa County's Lawyer Referral Service offers a 30 minute consultation for a fee of $40.00. The telephone number is (602) 257-4434.  Pima County's Lawyer Referral Service offers a 30 minute consultation for a fee of $35.00.  The telephone number is (520) 623-4625.

QUESTIONS

  • If I have legal sole custody of my child, what rights does the other parent have in regard to visitation? Other parent has never been involved, which is why I have sole custody and she has my last name, but he recently decided he wants visitation. He expects unsupervised visits and upon his availability. Also, what should I do to protect mine and my baby’s (15 months) rights? I’m assuming it’s not so simple to just come in and get visitation rights after not being involved at all for all those months.

STORIES

  • I just helped my mother, age 89, deal with her Medicare HMO. . .
  • If you get a divorce, make sure your date of birth is on the Decree if your name is changing!. . .
  • Age discrimination in the workplace. . .

LegalLEARN

YOUR FEEDBACK IS NEEDED

FIND LEGAL HELP

  • Please select your county of residence below.

    County:
     

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
    Link

ORGANIZATIONS