Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: My baby's mom passed away before we could get married and put my name on the birth certificate. Now after all of this and her grandma promising to help me get custody, she decides she will take my daughter and move to Kansas. Question here is what should I do to get things done so I can have my daughter?

Answer:

AZLawHelp is not a law firm and cannot provide legal advice or tell people what they should do.  To determine how best to handle a situation such as this, it is very important and urgent that you contact a licensed attorney.  Nevertheless, there are certain important laws that you should be aware of.

A child's "legal parent" has all the rights of parenthood unless those rights have been terminated.  A.R.S. 25-401.  A person is considered a "legal parent" if they are the biological or adoptive parent of the child.  However, the definition of a "legal parent" specifically excludes persons whose paternity has not be established.  Therefore, the father of a child can only be the "legal parent" of a child if paternity is first established, either by presumption (father is married to mother) or by complying with Arizona's paternity statute.  A.R.S. 25-812.  That statute details the legal requirements for establishing paternity.  Further information about establishing paternity can be provided by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Additionally, Arizona has joined with nearly every other state in adopting the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA).  A.R.S. 25-1001 through 1067.  This statute provides a means for the enforcement of child custody orders across state lines and helps prevent people from avoiding custody orders by moving to another state.  Once paternity is established, the UCCJEA may enable an Arizona court to issue an order requiring that a child be returned to its biological father. 

Please note that this information is provided as general information only and is not legal advice.  To resolve a specific situation or to receive legal advice, consult a licensed attorney.

QUESTIONS

  • My baby's mom passed away before we could get married and put my name on the birth certificate. Now after all of this and her grandma promising to help me get custody, she decides she will take my daughter and move to Kansas. Question here is what should I do to get things done so I can have my daughter?

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