Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: Will ignoring my drug addict, stalker ex hurt my case if he ever attempts to attain custody of our son?

Answer: Custody issues (now called legal decision-making) depend on the circumstances of each case.  Do you currently have sole legal decision-making or is it joint?  Were you and your ex married when your child was born?  Is he listed on the birth certificate?  What you do next may depend on the answers to those questions.  If you were not married and your ex is not listed as the father on the birth certificate, you are deemed to have sole custody unless and until he files a paternity suit and seeks his legal parental rights.  If he is the legal father and if there is no custody (legal decision-making) order, then you have the right to file a petition in the court seeking custody.  Your best option is to talk with an attorney to discuss the particulars of your case.  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 want to go it alone, you can find forms and instructions on the court's website.  Go to


  • Will ignoring my drug addict, stalker ex hurt my case if he ever attempts to attain custody of our son?


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  • Please select your county of residence below.



  • State Bar of Arizona
  • Maricopa County Bar
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program