Questions from AVVO: Child Custody Documentation

Arizona child custody attorneyQuestion

If you submit the custody documentation to the court and need to make updates or revisions after the fact, is that possible? I am seeking joint parenting time and legal decision making for my oldest son. His mom and I were never married and my name was put on the birth certificate at the hospital. The last time I saw my son (3 weeks ago) he informed me his mom’s boyfriend just took a job in Pittsburgh so they are moving. He told me not until next year but I have a feeling they are in the process of moving already without telling me. Therefor I feel like I should get the paperwork started and have her served and get myself organized and obtain legal assistance immediately afterward. My concern is if I fill out something wrong on the first submission of documents that I will get stuck with what I wrote down. Since the documentation isn’t clear nor does it seem to apply to the new law I am uncertain how to proceed.

Patrick’s Answer

It is unclear how old your son is and how much time you have actually spent with him, both of which are factors, among other facts, that the court will take into consideration in determining Legal Decision-making and Parenting Time. Assuming there is no prior Custody/Legal Decision-making Order, the mother has no legal obligation to give you prior notice of her intent to relocate the child. Thus each day that goes by without action by you is a gamble. Likely if they are planning a move it will be after the school year is over (assuming your child is school age). The bottom line is you need to file the Petition for Legal Decision-making and Parenting Time ASAP. The filing and service of this paperwork will prevent her from relocating the child, without a Court Order, while the Petition is pending. If you are unsure how to fill out the initial paperwork, the case will only get harder for you as you proceed. Therefore I believe that you should contact a lawyer immediately and get an initial consultation. Many lawyers will give you a free initial consultation.

Child custody battles can be a stressful and traumatic time. Contact the experienced  attorneys at The Sampair Group today for more information. Visit www.sampair.com to schedule a free consultation.