Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: Our 12 yr old grandson in NY has been in foster care for almost 2 years and the Child Protection department has filed for termination of parental rights against our daughter. We are grandparents living in AZ and have filed in NY a petition for custody against our daughter. I believe we filed for custody of our grandson against his mother prior to the petition for parental rights termination. Must the judge hear our custody petition first? If the court rules in our favor and gives us custody of our grandson will his placement with us be governed by the ICPC or will we be considered an exception? We cannot afford an attorney and NY will not appoint an attorney for us since we do not reside in NY.

Answer: Have you tried reaching out to the Arizona Department of Child Services?  In my experience, juvenile courts prefer family placements. Has the New York Child Protection Department contacted Arizona and asked for a home study.  That is the practice for most courts when family placements are available.  Has a home study been done?  If not, you can request one.  You may also want to talk to an Arizona lawyer who is familiar with interstate child welfare issues. 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 hours.  the telephone number is (866) 637-5341.  Both Maricopa County and Pima County have lawyer referral programs that offer a 30 minute consult with an attorney.  Maricopa County's Lawyer Referral Service offers a 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.  Getting advice on how to proceed may be a good first step. 

QUESTIONS

  • Our 12 yr old grandson in NY has been in foster care for almost 2 years and the Child Protection department has filed for termination of parental rights against our daughter. We are grandparents living in AZ and have filed in NY a petition for custody against our daughter. I believe we filed for custody of our grandson against his mother prior to the petition for parental rights termination. Must the judge hear our custody petition first? If the court rules in our favor and gives us custody of our grandson will his placement with us be governed by the ICPC or will we be considered an exception? We cannot afford an attorney and NY will not appoint an attorney for us since we do not reside in NY.

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