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Arizona Child Custody Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arizona on
Q: Is it legal for my 11 year old son to be sleeping on a pull out couch in the same room as his dad and his gf?

My son stays with his dad about half the time. The thing is, he lives in a 2 bedroom apartment with a roommate and his girlfriend. My son has to sleep on a pull out couch in the same room as his dad and his dad’s girlfriend. My son is 11. We have had multiple conversations over the last couple of... View More

Stephen M Vincent
Stephen M Vincent
answered on Jan 22, 2024

The arrangement is not illegal.

There is a question of whether it is in your son's best interests. You could file a Petition to Modify, and then it's really up a judge. I think there's a good argument there, but it will really depend on how your judge feels about it. Some...
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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Arizona on
Q: Should I request Child Support?

I want to ask for sole custody at a later date but would it backfire if I said I dont want child support or would it help my case? I also have another child from a different relationship. I have the children 10 months out of the year and he has them throughout the year but it equates to 2 mos. I... View More

Stephen M Vincent
Stephen M Vincent
answered on Jan 22, 2024

Asking or not asking for child support will have no impact on your custody case. The Court does not consider child support when determining custody, but once it determines custody, the amount of time awarded impacts the child support amount.

You should run numbers through an Arizona Child...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arizona on
Q: Me ex girlfriend had a child and claims it's mine. Who has the right.to take the child?

Can I take the child legally

Stephen M Vincent
Stephen M Vincent
answered on Jan 17, 2024

She can. You can't.

Based on what you wrote, it doesn't sound like you are even a legal parent yet. A biological connection to the child, by itself, does not establish you as the child's legal parent in the eyes of the law. You have to either (1) sign an Acknowledgment of...
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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Arizona on
Q: What’s the chance I get full custody in arizona? Left Ohio with my child to be close to my family for more support.

My child was born in Ohio she is now 5 months and we’ve been in arizona for a month. It was mutual for us to come to my home state and come back to Ohio but now I don’t want to come back. I have no support or anyone in Ohio besides father side family. I’d like to stay in arizona. We co parent... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 2, 2024

In Arizona, as in other states, child custody decisions are primarily based on the best interests of the child. The fact that you moved to Arizona with the mutual agreement of the child's father and for the purpose of being closer to your family support system can be an important factor in... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Arizona on
Q: What’s the chance I get full custody in arizona? Left Ohio with my child to be close to my family for more support.

My child was born in Ohio she is now 5 months and we’ve been in arizona for a month. It was mutual for us to come to my home state and come back to Ohio but now I don’t want to come back. I have no support or anyone in Ohio besides father side family. I’d like to stay in arizona. We co parent... View More

Rich J. Peters
Rich J. Peters
answered on Jan 5, 2024

If the child has not lived in Arizona for the greater part of the last 6 months, then Arizona does not have “home state jurisdiction”. Currently, the matter would LIKELY have to be pursued in Ohio. I WOULD NEED TO KNOW MORE to determine if there are other theories that would allow Arizona... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Family Law and Juvenile Law for Arizona on
Q: in Arizona: what constitutes "kidnapping" if the child is 14 yrs old and your grandchild?

My daughter called me in a panic telling me to pick up her son (my grandson) from school before CPS picked him up. She called the school and told them that I was on my way to get him and they had no problem letting me sign him out and leave with him. After he packed up some of his clothes she... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Dec 31, 2023

In Arizona, kidnapping is generally defined as knowingly restraining another person with the intent to hold the person for ransom, as a shield or hostage, or to inflict death, physical injury, or a sexual offense on the person, among other reasons. In the scenario you described, if you have your... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce and Family Law for Arizona on
Q: Can I use current temporary orders in place of original petition in a divorce default hearing?

Husband was ordered to complete a drug program, drug testing, and psych evaluation that was not completed.

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Dec 27, 2023

In the context of a divorce default hearing in Arizona, you may have the option to use current temporary orders, particularly if your husband has failed to comply with the court-ordered drug program, testing, and psych evaluation. The non-compliance with these orders could significantly impact the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Family Law and Child Custody for Arizona on
Q: Is due process or civil rights violated if children are removed from parent but parent has not been allowed statefact?

Dcs removed children from parent but parent has not been interviewed or allowed to state facts before court was given the PPH report an children remain in dcs physical custody and stipulations for reunification have been given without the parent being allowed to defend themselves.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Dec 5, 2023

In Arizona, due process and civil rights are crucial elements in child custody cases involving the Department of Child Safety (DCS). If children are removed from a parent's care and the parent is not given an opportunity to present their side of the story before the court makes decisions, this... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Arizona on
Q: How can I obtain a new hearing due to a variety of circumstances?

Going through a divorce and in a custody battle with my husband. He is a functioning alcoholic and weedhead. In our Temporary Custody Hearing last Wednesday, the father was cross examined by his attorney and she asked if he smoked or drank and he said no. When court ended, I found a post on her... View More

Stephen M Vincent
Stephen M Vincent
answered on Oct 23, 2023

- MOTION TO REVIEW NEW EVIDENCE: The answer is probably no, but you can give it a try by filing a Motion for Reconsideration. You'll need to explain (1) why you don't produce this evidence at trial because the Court can't consider newly discovered evidence that could have been found... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Arizona on
Q: How do I secure spousal support in my divorce?

We have been married for 10+ years. I experienced a significant amount of domestic abuse in the marriage and left the home 18 months ago. I left our 10 year old with his father as my husband ruined my credit and finances. My husband now makes twice as much as I do. He makes so much now that he has... View More

Stephen M Vincent
Stephen M Vincent
answered on Oct 23, 2023

You can file a motion for temporary spousal maintenance and ask to receive spousal maintenance while the case is pending. You can also for temporary custody (or, more specifically, temporary legal decision-making and parenting time) and an interim award of attorney's fees.

Domestic...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Child Custody and Family Law for Arizona on
Q: If my child’s father is abusive to his dog, will I be able to get sole custody of our baby
Stephen M Vincent
Stephen M Vincent
answered on Oct 10, 2023

It's unusual, but it's possible. Animal cruelty is one of the listed crimes under the domestic violence statute. It may depend on whether his actions meet the standards of animal cruelty (see ARS 13-2910) and whether those actions are significant enough to impact what should happen with... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence, Family Law and Child Custody for Arizona on
Q: I refused to deliver my daughter to father due to mental breakdown, now im in contempt but im protecting her from abuse.

We had a hearing and despite my evidence that we are victims and father has a significant history of domestic violence and abuse, plus procedural errors like allowing another person to advise father (off camera) and speak during the hearing while on zoom, not allowing me time to present my case,... View More

Stephen M Vincent
Stephen M Vincent
answered on Oct 9, 2023

Sounds like your best option is probably to going to be filing a Motion for Reconsideration.

The standard for dismissing a judge for bias is so high that you are very unlikely succeed. I do not recommend going that route.

If you have evidence Father lied, present it and let it speak...
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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Child Custody for Arizona on
Q: I found a bag that has remnants of what could be crystal meth in my bathroom trash, its my kid's dad. What can I do?

We live in AZ. He lies a lot. We have a mortgage together. What can I do legally to find out and if it is, get him out of home and away from kids?

Stephen M Vincent
Stephen M Vincent
answered on Oct 2, 2023

You probably need to get it tested. Then once you find out it is meth, you need to ask him to submit to a drug test. If it's positive, you could use that as a reason to get temporary emergency custody (i.e., legal decision-making and parenting time) over the children.

If you're...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arizona on
Q: I got an OOP after my ex got court order to turn over minor to him . Will I get in trouble? Do I inform the court?

I had residential custody and he had ldm and suddenly without consideration of his consider it d v past a judge grabted him custody of our minor even if he's probation for abuse of her and violating an oop, and with medical reports stating she is autistic and terrified of him and needed... View More

Stephen M Vincent
Stephen M Vincent
answered on Oct 2, 2023

You need to stop and consult with an attorney. I certainly understand why you did what you did, but I worry you could be making a bad situation worse.

The Order of Protection has not been served, so it is not in effect. That means you are technically violating the order when you do not...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arizona on
Q: I need help with a father who is constantly taking away communication from a mother.

My wife shares custody with the child’s father. Father has continuously taken the child’s phone away while she is at his house during his parental time. Mother and I have bought the phone and pay the cell phone bill on a monthly basis. Father has never paid any portion or is even on same phone... View More

Stephen M Vincent
Stephen M Vincent
answered on Sep 27, 2023

I am certainly sympathetic to what Mother and you are enduring because of Father's inappropriate actions.

However, what you suggest here is not the solution.

I know this may hurt to hear, and I apologize for that, but the law is clear: As a stepparent, you have no legal...
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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Arizona on
Q: Can a reply be filed to an amended petition post divorce decree in Arizona? Or does rule 28 Prohibit a REPLY ?

Does Rule 28 prohibit filing a REPLY to a RESPONSE?

Stephen M Vincent
Stephen M Vincent
answered on Aug 10, 2023

Don't file a Reply.

Rule 28 doesn't explicitly prohibit a Reply, but it implicitly does by explicitly authorizing a Response and making no mention of Reply.

Further, there is an important difference between a Petition and a Motion, and how they get resolved is why a Reply...
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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Arizona on
Q: Mother is witholding child from going to school and alienating the child from me and his siblings.

There is currently no custody order. So last year, I printed out a form that we agreed on that states I have temporary custody and she signed and we got notarized. Our son went to go visit for her for summer in CA but now she won’t let us talk to him and is alienating him from me and his other... View More

Stephen M Vincent
Stephen M Vincent
answered on Jul 20, 2023

The short answer is it is 100% time for you to file for custody and you may need to consider filing an emergency motion. You need to file in the state where your son most recently lived for six consecutive months.

As you write, "There is no custody order." Signing an agreement...
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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce, Domestic Violence and Family Law for Arizona on
Q: How can i request to remove legal decision making rights from DV father abuser granted by judge this past March 2023?

For some ODD reason, during a hearing in family court, the judge believed father and though i retain custodial/residential custody of our 9yr old daughter— my joint legal decision making rights were handed over to father (full legal decision-making) and reason was Judge believed i weaponized OOP... View More

Stephen M Vincent
Stephen M Vincent
answered on Jul 19, 2023

I certainly understand how difficult it can be when a judge makes a ruling that is not at all in your child's best interests. I certainly do not believe that you should have lose legal decision-making.

Unfortunately, there is not much you can do right now.

If the order came...
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2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Domestic Violence for Arizona on
Q: How do I present new evidence in a mediation case?

Meditation hearing is coming up in August and I want to change to asking for full custody since my child expressed to me that there has been physical abuse towards them by the other parent. The other parent has already been physical towards me which documented by police response. I have called DCS... View More

Randi Sirlin
Randi Sirlin
answered on Jul 18, 2023

If you are doing mediation, you can first alert the other side that you are changing your position and if it is a problem, you can file a Motion to Amend either your answer or your response. You should also seek out an experienced family law attorney, as you will be expected to know all of the... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Domestic Violence for Arizona on
Q: How do I present new evidence in a mediation case?

Meditation hearing is coming up in August and I want to change to asking for full custody since my child expressed to me that there has been physical abuse towards them by the other parent. The other parent has already been physical towards me which documented by police response. I have called DCS... View More

Todd B. Kotler
Todd B. Kotler
answered on Jul 18, 2023

Note that I practice law in OHIO and do NOT practice in Az. I am an officer on the Ohio State Bar Association's Dispute Resolution Committee and have over 50 hours of mediation training from the Ohio Supreme Court's Judicial College.

Mediation is not a forum for presenting...
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