Child Abuse & Neglect

questions & answers

Question: My ex-husband has been out of the picture for over 3 years. No child support, no contact with the three kids for this entire time. I re-married and my husband and I have taken care of them. I have full custody of my kids and wish to terminate his parental rights due to lack of contact and failure to be there for them in every sense of the word. He also lives in a different state and could have supervised visitations if he wanted to but has chosen not to. There’s also a history of domestic violence and alcoholism from his part therefore the supervised visitations.

Answer: The easiest first step is to ask your ex to willingly relinquish his parental rights.  That would require him to sign away his rights to the children.   In the likely event he is unwilling to do so, you may want to file a court action claiming that he has abandoned the children.  This type of situation can be complicated.  You really need to sit down with a lawyer and go over all your options.  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

  • My ex-husband has been out of the picture for over 3 years. No child support, no contact with the three kids for this entire time. I re-married and my husband and I have taken care of them. I have full custody of my kids and wish to terminate his parental rights due to lack of contact and failure to be there for them in every sense of the word. He also lives in a different state and could have supervised visitations if he wanted to but has chosen not to. There’s also a history of domestic violence and alcoholism from his part therefore the supervised visitations.

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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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