Parental Rights & Obligations

questions & answers

Question: My husband and I are separated and I need to know my rights about taking our 5 year old daughter out of state on vacation. He has a past felony and a history of domestic violence. He has been abusive towards me and that is why I left. He's never been abusive to our daughter. He is preventing me from seeing her most of the time and has forbid me from taking her out of state while I'm off work for the summer. I work at a high school and get the summer off. He doesn't work. I am the sole supporter in our family. Do I have the right to take her out of state temporarily?

Answer: The answer to this question depends on your circumstances and the legal nature of your arrangement.  Are you and your husband legally separated?  If you are, you should have a court approved custody (now called legal decision making and parenting time) order or a written custody agreement that spells out all the terms and requirements.  Your ability to take your your daughter out of state during the summer will be controlled by your custody order.  If you and your husband live separately but are not "legally separated" by the court, then the law presumes both parents to have equal parenting and custody rights.  It would be in your best interests to discuss the issue with a lawyer.  There are 3 programs in Arizona that you can use to get some inexpensive legal advice and guidance.  One is the Modest Means Program.  If you are qualified for the program, for a $75 fee, Modest Means  will arrange a one hour consult with an experienced attorney.  The telephone number is (866)637-5341.  Both the Maricopa and Pima County Bar Associations have lawyer referral programs that offer a 30 minute consult with an experienced attorney.  Maricopa County's Lwyer Referral Service offers a 30 minute consult for a fee of $40.  The telephone number is (602) 257-4434.  Pima County's Lawyer Referral Service offers a 30 minute consultutation for a fee of $35.  The telephone number is (520) 623-4625.

QUESTIONS

  • My husband and I are separated and I need to know my rights about taking our 5 year old daughter out of state on vacation. He has a past felony and a history of domestic violence. He has been abusive towards me and that is why I left. He's never been abusive to our daughter. He is preventing me from seeing her most of the time and has forbid me from taking her out of state while I'm off work for the summer. I work at a high school and get the summer off. He doesn't work. I am the sole supporter in our family. Do I have the right to take her out of state temporarily?

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  • State Bar of Arizona
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    Referral number 602-257-4434
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