Guardianship of Minor

questions & answers

Question: I have raised my granddaughter since she was born. Her mother gave her to me in 2013 and never came back. She calls sometimes and comes to see her every few months. The baby's father is in prison and has had no contact with the child except for a few cards he has sent over the last 3 years. Can I file for custody due to abandonment?

Answer: Any person may file a petition for termination of parental rights due to abandonment. Under Arizona law, A.R.S. §8-531, abandonment is defined as “the failure of a parent to provide reasonable support and to maintain regular contact with the child, including providing normal supervision”. When filing a petition for termination of parental rights A.R.S. §8-533 covers the grounds that must be met in order to apply and A.R.S. §8-534 details what the petition should include. It is important to note that there are specific instructions for notifying the parents about the petition for termination (A.R.S. §8-535). The case will be handled in the superior court (juvenile division). Here is a link where you can find superior court locations in Arizona by county: http://www.azcourts.gov/selfservicecenter/Self-Service-Forms. If the court upholds the petition for termination of the parent-child relationship it will terminate the relationship and either appoint an individual as guardian of the child or appoint an individual as the guardian and give legal custody to another individual or authorized agency (A.R.S. §8-538). This is provided as general information. Family law can be very complicated and you may want to consult with an attorney for further information about your specific case.

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QUESTIONS

  • I have raised my granddaughter since she was born. Her mother gave her to me in 2013 and never came back. She calls sometimes and comes to see her every few months. The baby's father is in prison and has had no contact with the child except for a few cards he has sent over the last 3 years. Can I file for custody due to abandonment?

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