Legal Question in Family Law in Arizona

Father filed for sole custody, mother not served yet

My boyfriend has filed for sole custody of his daughter. The mother has not been served yet but she knows. He is afraid she will leave the state before getting served. We put a stipulation in the filed papers that the mother cannot leave the state pending custody hearing. Will this hold if she has not been served? Also he is thinking of filing for emergency custody because the mother and child will not have a place to live within a couple of weeks. She plans to live in a tent on a campground. Can he file for emergency custody after he has filed custody papers? There is so much more about this case. Thank you for any help.

Asked on 5/02/03, 4:08 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Rich Peters R. J. Peters & Assoc., P.C.

Re: Father filed for sole custody, mother not served yet

If Mother has not been served, there is no real rule preventing her from leaving. However, given all that you've written, it would seemingly be easy to convince a Court to order tat she return.

Yes, he can file for Emergency orders even after he has filed for custody.

I can explain the issues and procedures better by phone or in person. There is too much to cover via e'mail (and I am not the greatest typist). We offer free 1/2 hour consultations, in which we can discuss the matter in more detail.

Please call me directly to discuss the specifics of your case, or contact my assistant Audrey to schedule a free 1/2 hour consultation. I look forward to talking with you.

/s/ Rich J. Peters, Attorney


1422 N. 2nd Street, Suite 100

Phoenix, Arizona 85004


602.254-1229 (facsimile)

see our web page at

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Answered on 5/05/03, 12:44 pm

Monica Donaldson Stewart Donaldson Stewart, P.C.

Re: Father filed for sole custody, mother not served yet

Thank you for your inquiry. The orders about appearing for the hearing and not leaving the state are not binding on the Mother until she is served. Also, if the Father believes the child is in danger (true life-or-death emergency), he can request an emergency hearing.

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Answered on 5/03/03, 6:01 pm

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