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Grandparents Guide to Child Custody

My Grandkids Are in Foster Care - Now What?

When kids are removed from their parents' care because of allegations of abuse or neglect, this starts the Dependency process in the juvenile courts in Arizona. In Arizona our laws have a preference that kids be placed with a family member, usually a grandparent, or another close relative. But sometimes kids will be placed with a licensed foster care provider. Grandparents or family members in this situation who want to be a placement need to act quickly for their grandkids.

Family Law Agreement

Did We Come to an Agreement?

Rule 69 of the Rules of Family Law Procedure generally govern whether parties have come to a binding agreement in a family law case. The Rule requires that in order for an agreement to be considered binding it must be either (1) in writing; or (2) set forth on the record before a judge or other legal authorized person; or (3) audio recorded by a mediator or settlement conference officer. The rule doesn't require that the written agreement be signed, although many attorneys do not consider an agreement to be finalized until both parties have signed it. Otherwise, written agreements may just be settlement negotiations passed between the parties and not admissible in court.

Establishing Paternity in Arizona

We Were Never Married But Have Kids

Arizona law gives moms default custody of kids who were born to parents who were not married at the time of there birth. Even if Dad's name is on the birth certificate or paternity was established through a IV-D child support action brought by the Department of Economic Security, in order to establish Legal Decision Making Authority and Parenting Time, there needs to be a Paternity Action.

Sole Custody

I Want Sole Custody!

No, you don't. For the first thing "custody" no longer exists in Arizona. For the second, what you think of as "custody" doesn't really exist.

Dependency Law

What is a dependency action?

A dependency action is usually brought by the State to take legal care and control of minor children from their parents or guardians because of abuse or neglect.

What is a Consent Decree?

So, What's a Consent Decree? The Easier Way to Divorce

A Consent Decree could be considered the easier way to divorce, if there is such a thing. You and your spouse get to a Consent Decree by working together, either on your own or in mediation to come to agreements about Legal Decision Making Authority and Parenting Time (if you have kids), the division of your assets and debts, child support and spousal support. While its possible to work towards a Consent Decree after someone has filed for divorce, I find that it works best when the parties work together before running to the courthouse. Here is what happens in the best of situations:

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