Phoenix, AZ asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arizona

Q: How do I or should I respond ? I filed a petition to change parenting time and the lawyer is attacking my character

Hello! My ex and I have joint custody of our almost 8 year old. We live 3 hours apart. Previously, it was set to where we would switch off every week. School started and he went to school there and was with me breaks and weekends. However, I’ve been informed his dad’s girlfriend is verbally and mentally abusive to my child and his dad. She’s been manipulative and threatens to leave and keep their child from my ex. I recently filed a petition to change custody so my son would be with me during school instead. My son has repeatedly said he wants to go to school here, to me; his dad, and his therapist. However, I received a response from his lawyer fighting it, and attacking my character, citing my divorce (4 years ago), the fact that my kids have different dads( I have 3), saying it shows I’m unstable. I’m not sure if or how I should respond. We have the first hearing scheduled for august 24th, but no evidence is to be presented.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Stephen M Vincent
Stephen M Vincent
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: I am sorry to hear that.

His lawyer's arguments are, in my view, weak. The issue in parenting time case is what is in the best interests of the child. Certainly, that includes the fitness of the parents. Verbal and mental abuse is a fitness concern. The fact you got divorced and your children have different fathers is not a fitness concern and it is inappropriate for the lawyer to even raise it.

By the same token, I would caution that 8-year-old's opinion holds no weight. He is not a suitable age and maturity to say where he wants to go to school, so the Court will not consider his opinion.

Also, since your ex has an attorney, I would recommend you get an attorney as well, if you can afford to do so.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.