questions & answers
Question: My son is 5 years old, his father is on the birth certificate. He has never lived with the father, he went to prison 2 weeks after he was born and has been in and out since then, What legal rights does he have?? And what would I need to do to gain soul custody? I have no contact with him.
Answer: Abandonment is defined by A.R.S. § 8-531 (http://www.azleg.gov/ars/8/00531.htm) as:
"...the failure of a parent to provide reasonable support and to maintain regular contact with the child, including providing normal supervision. Abandonment includes a judicial finding that a parent has made only minimal efforts to support and communicate with the child. Failure to maintain a normal parental relationship with the child without just cause for a period of six months constitutes prima facie evidence of abandonment."
The most direct solution for your situation could be a motion to terminate your ex's parental rights on the basis of abandonment. There are a series of statutes that explain this process, beginning at A.R.S. § 8-531. You should read them carefully. You will find three of them especially helpful: A.R.S. § 8-531 (which defines "abandonment"), A.R.S. § 8-533 (http://www.azleg.state.az.us/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/8/00533.htm&Title=8&DocType=ARS ) (which explains who may file the petition), and A.R.S. § 8-534 (http://www.azleg.state.az.us/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/8/00534.htm&Title=8&DocType=ARS ) (which tells you what to put into the petition).
My son is 5 years old, his father is on the birth certificate. He has never lived with the father, he went to prison 2 weeks after he was born and has been in and out since then, What legal rights does he have?? And what would I need to do to gain soul custody? I have no contact with him.
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