How to I gain custody of my child that is living with a grandparent?

Question:

How to I gain custody of my child that is living with a grandparent?

Mother & I never married. Paternity established. Mother now incarcerated for 9 yrs. (just happened). I never had custody. Paid child support thru courts. DES stopped it (child support) because grandmother wants child support. I want custody (always wanted it).Child now livng with Grandmother. Grandmother won’t let me talk to or see my child (15 ys old). DES asking for child support from me & mother (on behalf of Grandmother). What do I file first? Petition to establish child custody & support? If yes, do I serve it on Mother in jail or DES? How do I petition court to release address of child? Do I do this in Petition? Who is the guardian of child right now if something happens to child (medical, etc)? Started a relationship on facebook with child, Grandmother stopped it.

Answer:

What you do first depends upon how Grandmother ended up with the child. If Mother simply placed the child with Grandmother then you file a Petition for Custody and Parenting Time. You should also Petition for Temporary Orders. However if the child was placed with Grandmother by the State of Arizona in a Dependenct Action you will likely have to go to Juvenile Court to get things started. You have a very complex situation that will be difficult for you to resolve without an attorney at this point. You should immediately consult with an attorney.

Good luck!

Patrick Sampair
The Sampair Group, PLLC

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