Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: My husband and I are getting a divorce. He is living out of state so I currently have custody of our daughter. I am afraid that he will come and take her away. What can I do to make sure that he isn't able to do that???

Answer:

The laws of each state vary.  The following is a general recommendation for a course of action in Arizona.  (If your divorce proceeding is in another state it is important that you either consult an attorney in that state or carefully research that state's laws and procedures).

In Arizona, when a divorce proceeding is initiated, a preliminary injunction is issued pursuant to ARS § 25-315(A).   This is a general order stating what you and your husband are prohibited from doing during the divorce proceeding.  The following provision is included in a Preliminary Injunction:

Do not take the minor children, common to your marriage, out of the State of Arizona for any reasons, without a written agreement between you and your spouse or a Court Order, before you take the minor children out of the State.

Although the preliminary injunction provides certain protections they are limited. "Temporary orders" provide greater protections, especially with regard to custody and parenting time.  Temporary orders are simply orders that remain in effect until such time as the divorce is final. Temporary Orders can include, but are not limited to: (1) custody orders, (2) visitation or "parenting time" orders and (3) child support orders. Some temporary orders wind up being the same as the final orders.  It all depends on the facts and circumstances of your case.  (Just a quick FYI - courts sometimes refer to temporary as "pendente lite orders." If you see this phrase, do not be alarmed.  It is just a fancy latin way of saying "temporary.") 

Once temporary orders are in effect, they can be enforced by the court and you have recourse if those orders are violated (i.e. by your husband). 

The following are links to forms and instructions as to how to go about filing for temporary orders in Arizona.  Read the packets carefully and make sure you have completed all of the documents that are required before filing them.  If you do not see your "county court below" contact your superior court directly.  They may have forms or instructions that are similar to those provided below.  

FORMS AND INSTRUCTIONS:

Maricopa County:

Motion and Papers for Temporary Orders - Instructions

Motion and Papers for Temporary Orders - Forms

Pima County

Temporary Orders - Instructions and Forms

Coconino County:

Temporary Orders - Instructions and Forms  

Yavapai County

Temporary Orders - Instructions and Forms

Mohave County:

Temporary Orders (Forms only)

QUESTIONS

  • My husband and I are getting a divorce. He is living out of state so I currently have custody of our daughter. I am afraid that he will come and take her away. What can I do to make sure that he isn't able to do that???

STORIES

  • If you get a divorce, make sure your date of birth is on the Decree if your name is changing!. . .
  • 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. . .

LegalLEARN

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