Parental Rights & Obligations

questions & answers

Question: My mother was given guardianship of my children when I was incarcerated. I've been out for over 2 years now. She has not allowed me to see my kids. I had a notarized statement giving custody to their dad, the judge did not accept it. Instead he accepted a letter I wrote to my sister while in county jail. How do I go about getting my kids back or visitation when I.can't afford it. To me this was all done wrong. And she wants child support when I can't see my kids.  

Answer: The court generally favors the rights of the biological parents. However, the court will give extreme precedence to the best interests of the child. This includes both mental and physical well-being, and the child's adjustment to home, their school and the community (ARS 25-403). However, a third party (grandmother) can also retain parenting rights as long as they have a stable relationship with the child and if it would be detrimental to place the child back in the care of the birth mother/father (ARS 25-409).  Your county's Superior Court website may have the forms you need to petition for parenting time, you can also ask for the appropriate documents from you from your Superior Court Clerk. Here are the forms for Maricopa County. If you need specific legal advice, you may want to consult an attorney.

QUESTIONS

  • My mother was given guardianship of my children when I was incarcerated. I've been out for over 2 years now. She has not allowed me to see my kids. I had a notarized statement giving custody to their dad, the judge did not accept it. Instead he accepted a letter I wrote to my sister while in county jail. How do I go about getting my kids back or visitation when I.can't afford it. To me this was all done wrong. And she wants child support when I can't see my kids.  

STORIES

  • 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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