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pochoa

Full Custody without going to court?

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Hi, is there a way to get full custody of my daughter without going to court? My ex-boyfriend says he will sign whatever papers needed as long as he can still see my daughter on occasion under my terms with my consent. (He resides in CO, my daughter and I reside in Tucson, AZ Pima County) I will not be requesting child support from him. Also, can someone explain what the difference would be to severing his parental rights completely ? Thank you for your time.

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You and your ex-boyfriend can draw up any agreement you want and sign it, just so you understand that if either of you reneges, the other won't be able to do anything about it. Matters of custody, child support and visitation can only be decided in court, and anything you agree to that's not incorporated into a court order will have no standing in law and cannot be enforced.

Severing parental rights means that the parent basically has no parental rights whatsoever, and that usually can't happen except as part of an action for adoption.

A local family law attorney can explain how Arizona laws apply to your particular circumstances.

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It's not clear what you need this piece of paper for or what the motivation is (does he simply want to avoid paying you support?), and you do not bother to mention whether the issue of custody, support and visitation has ever been placed before a family court.


"Also, can someone explain what the difference would be to severing his parental rights completely ?"

This is fairly garbled. Someone having formal/legal custody doesn't mean the other parent doesn't have "rights". :) He is free to choose not to exercise those rights, of course. No court will be severing his legal relationship to the daughter (and therefore his legal obligation to her) unless he's a complete monster, you're independently wealthy and he's fine with not being legally related to his kid any longer ... or are remarrying someone who wants to adopt her and he's fine with that.

Please talk with a local family law attorney; this won't be resolved on the internet, I'm afraid.

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pochoa said...

is there a way to get full custody of my daughter without going to court?

No or maybe. Technically, custody is something that can only be conferred by court order. However, since we're apparently talking about a child born out of wedlock, paternity is an issue. Until and unless paternity is established, the mother is the only parent in the eyes of the law and, therefore, has custody by default. I can't think of a circumstance in which obtaining enforceable orders regarding custody, visitation, and support is not a good idea.

pochoa said...

can someone explain what the difference would be to severing his parental rights completely ?

This doesn't make any sense. When one talks about "the difference," it is necessary to identify at least two things. You've only mentioned one. As for "severing his parental rights," that's typically not possible except in connection with the adoption of the child by someone else.

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If a couple is unmarried, the mother is typically awarded sole physical custody of a child, unless the father takes action to be awarded custody. An unwed father is unlikely to win custody over a mother, if she is a

good parent. However, he can take steps to secure some form of custody

and visitation rights (see more information from the Child Custody Basics article on FindLaw Learn About the Law).

You can consult with a local family law attorney in Tucson, AZ (FindLaw Lawyer Directory) to discuss your available options and next steps. Here is a guide to hiring a lawyer (FindLaw) for your convenience.

Below are several resources that may be useful in your research.

Good luck.

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