Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: My girlfriend left and took our child with her. I am listed on the birth certificate as the father. What is my first step in getting shared custody?

Answer: You will need to handle this through the court by filing a petition to establish your custody and visitation rights.  You can try visiting your local court's self service center. There you may find the forms and instructions to file your petition. If your court does not have a self service center you my visit Maricopa County Superior Court's Self Service center, many courts will except their forms. However, it would be a good idea to talk to a lawyer before you begin. There are programs in Arizona that you can use to get some inexpensive legal advice and guidance.  One is the Modest Means Program.  For a $75 fee, the Modest Means Program will arrange a one hour consult with an experienced attorney.  The telephone number is (866) 637-5341 or you can apply online at http://www.azlawhelp.org/accessToJustice.cfm.  The second program is the Maricopa County Bar Association's lawyer referral service.  For a $40 fee, lawyer referral will set you up with a 30 minute consultation with an experienced lawyer.  The telephone number is (602) 257-4434.

 

QUESTIONS

  • My girlfriend left and took our child with her. I am listed on the birth certificate as the father. What is my first step in getting shared custody?

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OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
    Link

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