Visitation

questions & answers

Question: I have sole custody of my 10 year old daughter. My child’s mother wants to do visitation with my daughter and I want to know what are the rules and regulations on the visits. For example: I’ve gave my daughter to her mother for visitation for a month and she doesn’t bring her back to me. What should I do and what are the risks?

Answer: If you have sole custody (now called legal decision-making) of your daughter, your court order granting custody should set out terms for visitation.  If it doesn't, you may want to go back to court and request a court ordered visitation schedule to follow.  If this is an informal custody agreement and there is no court order, you have no real legal protection.  Unless there is a court order stating otherwise, Arizona law presumes both parents have equal rights to the child.  If you do not have a custody order issued by the court, you may want to file a petition to legally establish your custody (legal decision-making and parenting time) rights.  You can find the forms and instructions you need to file a petition on the superior court's website.  Go to: https://superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/llrc/fc_drcv1/. The packet you can download at this site is for the Maricopa County Courts, but it should work in all counties with minor modifications.  You may also want to sit down with a lawyer and go over the paperwork you have and discuss your options.  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.

QUESTIONS

  • I have sole custody of my 10 year old daughter. My child’s mother wants to do visitation with my daughter and I want to know what are the rules and regulations on the visits. For example: I’ve gave my daughter to her mother for visitation for a month and she doesn’t bring her back to me. What should I do and what are the risks?

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