Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: My brother does not have custody of his five-year-old daughter and the mother of his child has no intention of allowing him to see the daughter. What rights does he have? Can't he just sue for joint custody? ebonee

Answer: This is for informational purposes only; you may want to contact an attorney for legal advice. A father may establish paternity through an acknowledgment of paternity form or through a paternity test. http://www.maricopa.gov/publichealth/programs/vitals/paternity.aspx.
Forms for establishing paternity and custody (now called parenting time and visitation) can be found at your local superior court's self service center. To find your local superior court you may want to use the court locator link:http://www.azcourts.gov/AZ-Courts/AZ-Courts-Locator.

For more information about parenting time and visitation please read the following article: http://azlawhelp.org/articles_info.cfm?mc=1&sc=1&articleid=68 .

Here are some answers to those questions from that page.
 How can a court’s custody order be changed? Either parent may request in writing that the court modify a custody order. To change an existing order it must be shown that the best interests of the child are served. The request is filed with the Clerk of the Superior Court and a fee for filing is charged; however, there are limitations on requesting a modification. For example, a request may not be filed for one year from the date of the earlier order, unless there are special circumstances seriously endangering the child's physical, mental, emotional or moral health. If a form of joint custody has been ordered, a modification may be requested at any time if there is evidence that domestic violence, spousal abuse or child abuse has occurred since the date the last order was granted. In a joint custody situation, a parent must wait six months before seeking a modification if the reason for the request is that one parent has failed to obey the court's custody order. How does the court make its decision about custody? If there is a dispute about custody, the court sometimes refers the parents to internal court mediation services. This process gives the parents an opportunity to reach an agreement regarding custody and related issues; however, if the parents are unable to agree on custody, the court will decide for them. Sometimes the court seeks professional advice from outside experts who evaluate the family situation or offer an opinion about custody. In some situations, the court also may order an investigation by a social service or other agency. In every case, the court must decide custody based on a determination of the best interests of the child.

QUESTIONS

  • My brother does not have custody of his five-year-old daughter and the mother of his child has no intention of allowing him to see the daughter. What rights does he have? Can't he just sue for joint custody? ebonee

STORIES

  • I just helped my mother, age 89, deal with her Medicare HMO. . .
  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .
  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .

LegalLEARN

  • Free & Reduced Fees Legal Aid Resources
    Click Here to apply online

YOUR FEEDBACK IS NEEDED

  • Welcome to our Newly Redesigned Website! Let us know how we are doing! Please take a couple of minutes to fill out our survey.

FIND LEGAL HELP

  • Please select your county of residence below.

    County:
     

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
    Link

ORGANIZATIONS