Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: My ex-girlfriend and I obviously separated and have not done any legal custody paperwork with our (she is the mother) two children (ages 3 and 1). The boys constantly stay at the house that I own and never go to their mothers. She only sees them at my house for the 40 hours that I work per week and that is it. Their addresses (including the mother's mail) all come to the house that I own. She has now grown upset and wants to take the children to some long distant relative in Colorado just because she is angry. I do have the 3 year old enrolled in a local Prescott Valley school as well.

Answer: Generally, the law presumes both parents have equal rights to their children.  If it is your plan to obtain custody of your children and prevent your ex from moving them out of state, you will need to take some action.  In Arizona legal language, custody is called "legal decision making."  If you plan to do this on your own, go to the website  http://courts.yavapai.us/superiorcourt  for Yavapai County Superior Court.  In the blue bar at the top of the page, you will find the word "forms."  Click on it, then go to "self-help center and look under the domestic section for the forms to establish legal decision making.  If you believe you need guidance, there are 3 programs in Arizona that you can use to get some inexpensive legal advice and guidance.  One is the Modest Means Program.  For a $75.00 fee, the Modest Means Program will arrange a one hour consult with an experienced attorney.  The telephone number is (866) 637-5341. Both the Maricopa County Bar Association and the Pima County Bar Association have lawyer referral services that offer a 30 minute consult with an experienced attorney.  Maricopa County's Lawyer Referral Service offers a 30 minute consultation for a fee of $40.00. The telephone number is (602) 257-4434.  Pima County's Lawyer Referral Service offers a 30 minute consultation for a fee of $35.00.  The telephone number is (520) 623-4625.

QUESTIONS

  • My ex-girlfriend and I obviously separated and have not done any legal custody paperwork with our (she is the mother) two children (ages 3 and 1). The boys constantly stay at the house that I own and never go to their mothers. She only sees them at my house for the 40 hours that I work per week and that is it. Their addresses (including the mother's mail) all come to the house that I own. She has now grown upset and wants to take the children to some long distant relative in Colorado just because she is angry. I do have the 3 year old enrolled in a local Prescott Valley school as well.

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  • State Bar of Arizona
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  • 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
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