How do I file for custody for my two children?

Question:

How do I file for custody of my two children?

My ex-fiance has cheated on me with a guy and told me she did it for free marajiuana. She is now with the man and has my children around him. I know she has one felony warrant out of Phoenix, AZ. I fear for my children’s safety and well being. Since we do live in Arizona, which I have been told is a mothers state. The police said if she were to get arrested she gets to determine where my children go for example (her mothers). I am in need of help and all I want is for my children to be safe. How do I file for custody of my two children?

Answer:

I am sorry to hear about your situation.

While it is correct that unmarried mothers are presumed to have custody in Arizona, once Paternity is established through the courts, men and women have the exact same rights.

When there are two fit parents, the court will normally award Joint Legal Decision Making Authority (Joint Custody) and will frequently order Equal Parenting Time.

However, you seem to indicate that there are not two fit parents. If mom is using illegal substances and is a fugitive, you stand a very good chance of obtaining a court order that the children shall be in your care. You very well maybe able to obtain Sole Legal Decision Making Authority. (Sole Custody)

You need to file a Petition to Establish Paternity, Legal Decision Making Authority, Parenting Time and Child Support there in the county where the children reside.

You should speak with an experienced family law attorney right away to discuss the matter and determine rather or not you should also file for Emergency or Temporary Custody Orders.

Good luck!

Patrick Sampair
The Sampair Group, PLLC

Offices Valley-Wide:
Arrowhead: 17235 N. 75th Avenue, Suite E-100, Glendale, AZ
City North: 5450 E High St #300, Phoenix, AZ
East Valley: 1830 S. Alma School #114, Mesa, AZ

To read more of Phoenix child custody law attorney Patrick Sampair’s answers on Avvo and be sure to check out his child custody page, or if you have a question for Mr. Sampair ask him directly at: http://www.sampair.com/.

 

West Valley: 623.218.1000
Phoenix: 602.997.7717
East Valley: 480.636.1333