Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: My wife and are married, both women, and we both are on my child's birth certificate. she is his biological mother. The problem is She about a month a half ago left to a friend's and didn't come back for 2 weeks. When she returned, she promised to get help by going to a rehab for pills, and heroin use. She then about a week later disappeared in the middle of the night at 2:30am while we all slept, to NM where she was using heroin again, admitting all of this through text messages which I still have. She is now threatening to come and take my son from me and not give him back. What can I do?

Answer: Arizona law presumes that both parents have equal rights to custody unless a court states otherwise.  Ruben v. Ariz. DES. 230 Ariz. 236, 282 P3d 437 (App. 2012). To change that, you will need to obtain a court order.  If you believe there is a significant risk she will return and take the child, you may want to take action.  The forms for dissolution of marriage and custody (now called legal decision making) are on the court's website. Forms are located in the self-help center. www.azcourts.gov. You may also want to discuss the matter 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.  For a $75.00 fee, the Modest Means Program will arrange a one hour consult with an experienced attorney.  The telephone number is (866) 637-5341. Both the Maricopa County Bar Association and the Pima County Bar Association have lawyer referral services that offer a 30 minute consult with an experienced attorney.  Maricopa County's Lawyer Referral Service offers a 30 minute consultation for a fee of $40.00. The telephone number is (602) 257-4434.  Pima County's Lawyer Referral Service offers a 30 minute consultation for a fee of $35.00.  The telephone number is (520) 623-4625.

QUESTIONS

  • My wife and are married, both women, and we both are on my child's birth certificate. she is his biological mother. The problem is She about a month a half ago left to a friend's and didn't come back for 2 weeks. When she returned, she promised to get help by going to a rehab for pills, and heroin use. She then about a week later disappeared in the middle of the night at 2:30am while we all slept, to NM where she was using heroin again, admitting all of this through text messages which I still have. She is now threatening to come and take my son from me and not give him back. What can I do?

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