Globe, AZ asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Juvenile Law and Probate for Arizona

Q: Dad had temporary legal decision making but went to prison my rights fully intact, can I go get my kids from the Stepmom

My rights are fully intact and dad is now in prison and the stepmother is not letting me see or speak to my children can I get the cops and go get my kids

2 Lawyer Answers
Stephen M Vincent
Stephen M Vincent
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: I think just showing up and taking the kids would do more harm than good, and most likely, the police aren't going to assist you; they will instead tell you that you need to go file with the Court.

If I were you, I'd file a Petition to Modify Legal Decision-making, Parenting Time, and Child Support with an Emergency Motion (the document is called Motion for Temporary Orders without Notice) and ask the judge to give you the children and legal decision-making. Doing this also avoids the situation where if he is let out of prison, he then reverts back to having legal decision-making.

Rich J. Peters
Rich J. Peters
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: Presuming that step-mother has no court-ordered rights, she DOES NOT have lawful possession of your children. YOU CAN TRY TO INVOLVE LAW ENFORCEMENT. However, the sheriff is not often willing to simply remove children without a court order to do so. It would be my advice that you file an emergency petition asking the court to order their immediate return to you. The court can include language regarding a "warrant for immediate production" which does authorize sheriff involvement.

A qualified and experienced family law attorney can of course assist you in considering your options

and then getting where you need to be. Most of us offer free, 1/2 hour consultations, in which your

matter can be discussed in detail. That would be a great opportunity to discuss the specifics of your

matter and develop a plan. I would encourage you to quickly schedule this free consultation.

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