Q: Our 16 yo granddaughter lives in Oregon is staying with us in Arizona. She want's to stay, where do we start OR orAZ
She has been in and out of CPS custody in Arizona 18 months, and a year or so in Oregon. There has been and is currently physical confrontations with her mother. She recently did a DNA test and found the man she called dad wasn't. She is afraid to return to Oregon because her "dad's" dad molested her and her younger sister, but they couldn't prove it. Her mother continues to mess with her mind down here, and now wants her home after agreeing staying down her would be best.
A: If she has been living with you six months, you may file in Arizona. If she has lived in Arizona less than six months, you would need to file in whatever state she last lived in for six consecutive months. If she has been back and forth repeatedly and not truly established a state of residence, you could attempt to file in Arizona, but may face problems if her birth mother remains in Oregon. If the biological father is in the picture (it does not sound like he is), then that could further complicate things.
Your best course of action might be to seek a protective order if your granddaughter truly was molested and there is a continuing threat of further abuse.
I hate to be the lawyer who tells you that you need a lawyer, but there are going to be a lot of complex issues to deal with in this battle. Since there are allegations of abuse, particularly child abuse, you may qualify for legal aid if your income is insufficient to allow you to afford an attorney.
I wish you the best. No one should have to be afraid to go home.
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