Parental Rights & Obligations

questions & answers

Question: The father of my children has been absent for 4 years now because he is physically abusive and a drug addict. I do not want him to have access to the children if something were to happen to me as I fear he would harm them. So what can I do to take his parental rights away permanently?

Answer: That may or may not be possible depending on all the circumstances of your case.  Does he pay child support?  If he has not seen the children and he does not pay child support, you may be able to file based on abandonment.  You may want to draft a Will that passes guardianship of your children to someone you trust.  No one can advise you in the abstract like this.  You need to sit down with an attorney and go over your current custody papers.  If you do not currently have sole custody (legal decision-making) through the courts, you may want to file for it.  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  hour.  The telephone number is (866) 637-5341.  Both Maricopa and Pima Counties have lawyer referral programs that offer a 30 minute consult with an attorney.  Maricopa County's Lawyer Referral Service offers its 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

  • The father of my children has been absent for 4 years now because he is physically abusive and a drug addict. I do not want him to have access to the children if something were to happen to me as I fear he would harm them. So what can I do to take his parental rights away permanently?

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  • State Bar of Arizona
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    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
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    Referral number 520-623-4625
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