Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: The father of my 18 month old son decided to break up with me recently and am very upset because of the breakup. I asked him to give me time before i could be able to allow "visitations" (nothing has been done by court yet). he doesnt want to respect my decision and is threatening me with calling the police if i won't let him see my son. Can he do that? can i file a protection order to help me "buy time"? can i be the first to contact the court so that i am able to stipulate the custody and parenting time terms?

Answer: Parents have a Constitutional right in raising their children unless the parent puts the child at risk of being harmed. The courts will not take away this right unless it is determined that the child is in danger. An order of protection is issued to prevent an act that will cause harm to a person. The guidelines for issuing orders of protection are set forth under A.R.S. § 13-3602. If there is no immediate danger of harm, courts will not issue an order of protection. A person can petition the court for custody by obtaining an attorney, or petition the court themself through the a court Self Service Center. The opposing party is given an opportunity to contest a request for custody. If the parties cannot agree on custody terms, they have the option of going to mediation to work out the disagreements. However, if the parties still cannot decide on custody terms, the court will determine custody based on the best interests of the child. The factors the court considers are set forth in A.R.S. § 25-403(A).

QUESTIONS

  • The father of my 18 month old son decided to break up with me recently and am very upset because of the breakup. I asked him to give me time before i could be able to allow "visitations" (nothing has been done by court yet). he doesnt want to respect my decision and is threatening me with calling the police if i won't let him see my son. Can he do that? can i file a protection order to help me "buy time"? can i be the first to contact the court so that i am able to stipulate the custody and parenting time terms?

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