Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: Can i legally move out of the state of arizona with my 3 year old if her mother is incarcerated for a 4 year sentence? We were never married I am in the birth certificate i have had my daughter in my care for 21 months

Answer: Your question is lacking details needed to give you a full answer.  You are not on the birth certificate.  Do you have a legal document establishing paternity that would allow you to make legal and medical decisions for your child?  You can file a court action to change the name of your child.  Because your child is more than a year old, a court order is required.  All the forms and instructions are on the court's website.  Go to: https://www.azcourts.gov/selfservicecenter/Forms/Name-Change .  If you have established paternity, the next question is whether you have legal decision-making rights (custody)?  It would be worth your while to meet with an attorney, show the attorney all your papers and get some advice.  There are three programs in Arizona that you can use to get inexpensive legal advice and guidance.  One is the modest means program.  You will need to apply for the program and meet the financial qualifications.  Once you are qualified, Modest Means will send you a list of attorneys whose practice covers your area of concern.  You select a lawyer from the list and will be entitled to a one hour consultation for $75.  If you need additional help and if the lawyer agrees to take your case, the most you will be charged is  $75 per  hour.  The telephone number is (866) 637-5341.  Both Maricopa and Pima Counties have lawyer referral programs that offer a 30 minute consult with an attorney.  Maricopa County's Lawyer Referral Service offers its 30 minute consult with an experienced attorney for $40.  The telephone number is (602) 257-4434.  Pima County's Lawyer Referral Service offers a 30 minute attorney consult for $35.  The telephone number is (520) 623-4625.  If you are unable to afford even a modest fee and you meet the financial need qualifications, you may be able to find legal help in another section of this website.  Go to https://www.azlawhelp.org/accesstojustice.cfm.

QUESTIONS

  • Can i legally move out of the state of arizona with my 3 year old if her mother is incarcerated for a 4 year sentence? We were never married I am in the birth certificate i have had my daughter in my care for 21 months

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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
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    866-553-0893
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