Legal Question in Family Law in Arizona

My husband is filing for parental severance due to the birth mothers lack of presence in the children's life. (Has seen the once in 3 years... No phone calls etc.) . She also has major drug issues..however my son ran away the other day and found his way to her, she refuses to give him back, and only did so until threatened by The police with charges.... Since he now had had contact with her does it reset the clock on not seeing them for 2 years straight? Or will it not make a difference and we are still okay to file the petition/ home study etc...

Asked on 10/10/13, 5:28 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Joan Bundy Joan Bundy Law

Technically you must show at least 3 months of abandonment -- no financial support, attempts to contact the child(ren), etc. But since she essentially kidnapped the child or at least committed custodial interference by refusing to return the child when she had no legal right to keep him, that would be a black mark against her. I don't think that one "visit" would restart the clock considering her bad behavior at the time. Besides, the visit was initiated by the boy, not by his mother. I would go ahead and proceed with your parental rights termination/adoption efforts. Best of luck!

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Answered on 10/15/13, 9:02 pm

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