questions & answers
Question: What if I've been to prison and while I was there, my son's father took me to court and got sole legal custody, and since then has dumped my son off on his family (3 years) and has left the state? Do I have any right to do anything? He does not support our son in anyway.
Answer: The fact that you've been to prison, while unfortunate, does not automatically deprive you of parental rights. A potential solution would be to file a custody petition of your own, citing the fact that you have recently earned release and are prepared to assume the duties of a normal parent. The applicable laws are A.R.S. § 25-411 and Family Law Rule 91(A),(D)&(F). You should read these very, very carefully, and seek advice from a private attorney or legal aid to walk you through the petition process. It involves a great deal of paperwork, and you want to make sure you get it right! You should also consider contacting Community Legal Services (CLS) to determine if they have a grant program expressly designed for inmates who are recently paroled and wish to re-establish a bond with their children. (I believe that they do.) The phone number there is 602-258-3434. Press the extension for "intake" inquiries.
What if I've been to prison and while I was there, my son's father took me to court and got sole legal custody, and since then has dumped my son off on his family (3 years) and has left the state? Do I have any right to do anything? He does not support our son in anyway.
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