Child Abuse & Neglect

questions & answers

Question: My ex has had literally nothing to do with our daughter since she was 1 and half. She is almost 4. He has been in and out of jail lately and has found himself back with his druggie girlfriend. I want to keep my daughter safe, what are my steps to insure this?

Answer: From the little information provided, it sounds like you do not have a court ordered custody agreement. Has he been legally established as the biologic father?  That can happen in several ways:  (1) the two of you were married when the baby was born; or (2) you both signed the affidavit of paternity to have his name on the birth certificate; or (3) one of you filed a paternity action in court and paternity was established through the courts.  If he is the legal father, you have the right to go to court and file a petition for sole legal decision-making and parenting time (new terms for custody and visitation). You can accomplish that by seeking help from a lawyer or you can go to the court's website, find the forms and instructions you need, and do it on your own.  You would be required to serve the papers on your ex.  You will find the court forms at: https://www.azcourts.gov/selfservicecenter/Family-Law-Forms.  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. If he has not established paternity through one of the ways mentioned above, he would need to go to court to do so and then go through the court to establish legal decision making and parenting time.

QUESTIONS

  • My ex has had literally nothing to do with our daughter since she was 1 and half. She is almost 4. He has been in and out of jail lately and has found himself back with his druggie girlfriend. I want to keep my daughter safe, what are my steps to insure this?

STORIES

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OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
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