Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: My children's mother dropped the kids off with me December 31, three days after my agreed weekly visit not wanting to be responsible for taking care of them anymore. Ive got documentation and witnesses that she dropped them off with the intent to sign over her rights as a mother so she could do as she pleases. How do I protect myself legally so she cannot come and go taking them from a stable home after not being in contact once for the past five weeks? She dropped them off at my job with only the clothes on their backs. I am employed and have constant care for them, how do I protect myself?

Answer:

The following is provided for general information only. Arizona Revised Statute A.R.S. 8-533 states that any person including a relative may file a petition for termination of the parent-child relationship for reason of abandonment. “"Abandonment" means 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” is evidence of abandonment. This definition of abandonment is found in A.R.S. 8-531 http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/8/00531.htm&Title=8&DocType=ARS .The petition shall include the contents listed in A.R.S. 8-534. For more information on termination of parental rights you may want to look at A.R.S. § 8-532 through A.R.S § 8-539. To find out how the law applies to a specific situation, contact an attorney directly.

QUESTIONS

  • My children's mother dropped the kids off with me December 31, three days after my agreed weekly visit not wanting to be responsible for taking care of them anymore. Ive got documentation and witnesses that she dropped them off with the intent to sign over her rights as a mother so she could do as she pleases. How do I protect myself legally so she cannot come and go taking them from a stable home after not being in contact once for the past five weeks? She dropped them off at my job with only the clothes on their backs. I am employed and have constant care for them, how do I protect myself?

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