Question: My daughter's father has abandoned her for the last 6 years. Can I file for termination of parental rights and how do I do so.
You may indeed request termination of parental rights, and it sounds like abandonment would be one reason to cite. The Arizona laws that deal with this subject can be found between A.R.S. 8-531 and 8-544. In particular, A.R.S. § 8-534 lists all of the things you must include in your petition. Even when it is perfectly justified, a termination request is a serious matter, so read the laws carefully, and strongly consider consulting with an attorney who specializes in these and other juvenile matters.
You will discover during your review that there are some pretty specific rules about giving notice to all interested parties, and how the hearing should be conducted. As an aside, you should specifically ask your attorney about the procedural rules at trial (A.R.S.§ 8-537) that change effective January 1, 2007. They pertain to findings made by a judge versus a jury, and the timing of your petition may make all the difference.
November 19, 2006