Legal Question in Family Law in Arizona

what's my rights?

I have a grandchild in AZ, her mother is in jail on a no bond hold. The child is with her grand-aunt. She doesn't have custody, just POA. My son just found out a year ago that he was the father. He has a court order to pay child support and has been doing so. With the mother in jail, what rights does my son have. He wants to get custody of his daughter. He is married, has a steady job, and has another child. The mother has been in and out of jail before and after the child was born. What is the partental abduction laws in AZ? My son can prove he's the father thru court records. Does he have the right to go and get the child?

Asked on 6/17/04, 7:35 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Monica Donaldson Stewart Donaldson Stewart, P.C.

Re: what's my rights?

Thank you for your inquiry.

Without reviewing the current orders, I can't tell you whether you son has the right to come get the child now; however, he certainly has the right to ask the court to enter an expedited order granting him temporary custody of the child, but he will have to move forward fast. Once she's released, it will be a longer process for him to try to get custody.

If he wants to speak with me to discuss the case, he's welcome to contact my office to arrange a time that we can speak.

Monica Donaldson

(480) 792-9770

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Answered on 6/17/04, 10:28 pm

Herb Southern The Southern Law Firm

Re: what's my rights?

Let me add to what Monica has already told you: From an AR point of view, if he just goes and picks up the child he will have major problems. He needs to go there and take all paperwork he has. If he is paying child support, then in the paperwork from OCSE (child support) there will be a "judicial finding of paternity" That order needs to go with him when he goes. That and her incarceration should get him at least temporary custody. From there who knows? It depends on what she does. Good luck!

One other point: Before he goes there, GO TO THE COURT where the paternity order was entered and tell the clerk of court that you need a "CERTIFIED COPY OF THE ORDER." Without the certification the AZ court will not recognize it as real! With it the constitution says that they have to recognize it under the "Full faith and credit" clause.

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Answered on 6/18/04, 10:37 am
Rich Peters R. J. Peters & Assoc., P.C.

Re: what's my rights?

Sent 6/18/2004

Your son certainly has the right to pursue custody of his child. Generally, a parent would be preferred to a non-parent.

I can explain the procedures and issues better by phone or in person. As you can imagine, there is too much to cover via e'mail. 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 6/18/04, 10:59 am

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