Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: I have lived in Arizona since 2013 which was the last time my son saw his father. His father lives in Mexico and I have tried to get ahold of him but have not been able. My son is 8 and does not know him or who he is. How can I go about getting full custody or being able to make all the decisions for my son. Since my husband is military we well be moving out of state and I need to get him a u.s passport since I have already became a citizen and I need to be able to take my child over seas.

Answer: There are a few pieces of information that would be helpful in answering your question.  Were you married to the ex who now lives in Mexico when your child was born?  Was your child born in Mexico?  Is the father's name on the birth certificate?  All this information is needed for an accurate answer.  You have the right to file a petition in the Arizona courts asking for full custody (legal decision-making).  There are forms and instructions on the court's website at https://www.azcourts.gov/selfservicecenter/Family-Law-Forms.  However, because there may be difficulty serving papers on your ex, your best bet is meeting with a lawyer.    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.  Another possible resource is military legal services.  Since your current husband is serving in the military, ask him to consult his JAG officer to see if they have any resources to offer.

QUESTIONS

  • I have lived in Arizona since 2013 which was the last time my son saw his father. His father lives in Mexico and I have tried to get ahold of him but have not been able. My son is 8 and does not know him or who he is. How can I go about getting full custody or being able to make all the decisions for my son. Since my husband is military we well be moving out of state and I need to get him a u.s passport since I have already became a citizen and I need to be able to take my child over seas.

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  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
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    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
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