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Question: I was never married to my sons biological father who happens to be an illegal immigrant. Paternity and child support have been established by the court and I have sole legal custody. The Order states that father is not to pick up child from daycare. How do I enforce this?

Answer:

You could consider several practical and legal measures. First, you could notify the daycare center of the court's order, provide the staff with a certified copy of that order, and instruct them not to release the children to anyone except you. Daycare centers deal with this more often than you might expect, and most (at least the diligent ones) will already have a policy in place for situations like this.

Second, any violation of a court order (including an order governing custody and physical contact) constitutes a criminal offense under A.R.S. § 13-2810: Interference with Judicial Proceedings, a class 1 misdemeanor. Many police officers (and, unfortunately, prosecutors) believe that this law only applies to formal domestic violence protective orders, and may refuse to help you for that reason. But as you will see from the text of the law yourself, the criminal statute does not make any such distinction. So you should contact the police immediately if you learn that he has taken the children from daycare in violation of the order. Insist that they take action, and if they refuse, ask for the name and phone number of their supervisors. If necessary, you should consider contacting the city prosecutor's office and ask for the attorney responsible for charging decisions.

Your third option involves going back to the family court and asking for sanctions or modification of any parenting time that your former partner may still have. That involves a post-decree petition under Family Law Rule 91(D) or (F).   Make sure to read the filing and petition requirements very carefully, as they can be complicated, and strongly consider consulting with a family law attorney before signing anything.

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QUESTIONS

  • I was never married to my sons biological father who happens to be an illegal immigrant. Paternity and child support have been established by the court and I have sole legal custody. The Order states that father is not to pick up child from daycare. How do I enforce this?

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  • State Bar of Arizona
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    Referral number 602-257-4434
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    Referral number 520-623-4625
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