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AzMom_AlDaughter

Out of state custody issues

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I (Mother) moved to Arizona 3yrs ago with my son. My daughter stayed in Alabama because her paternal grandparents have custody of her. I've been searching for days on how to go about getting a change of custody from out of state with no luck. Her father (in Alabama) and I are on the same page as far as how we would handle custody and visitation once we regained custody of her. Her grandparents are well known and respected in the community and this may not go mine or her fathers way, but I'll do what it takes. Which forms do I need to change custody since I no longer live in her state and which state would I need to obtain an attorney if need be? Also, if my daughter wanted to come live with me in Az, what forms and would I file for that?

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It sounds as if the Alabama court that awarded custody of the child to the paternal grandparents would be where the petition to change custody would have to be filed. If custody has already been awarded to the paternal grandparents, there must have been a reason.  Therefore, I doubt this would qualify as a do-i- yourself project.  You will almost certainly need to hire an attorney in the appropriate county in Alabama.

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Hi @AzMom_AlDaughter

 

Welcome to the community and thanks for posting! Looks like you've gotten some great direction from RetiredinVA. I concur that you will need to file this motion in the Alabama court asking for the change in custody, and that your daughter relocate to Arizona with you. You will need to file this motion with the court where your daughter lives. If this is the same court where the judge gave the grandparents custody, then you should file the motion under that case number. Many counties have online records search engines, which should help you find your case number.

 

Regarding what forms you need to complete, check out this helpful Alabama child custody brochure. Looks like you need to fill out the PS-07 and the CS-47. As RetiredinVA mentioned, this process will be much smoother with the assistance of counsel in Alabama. Filing and serving documents in compliance with all state and local rules while in Arizona will be a challenge. If you need help finding an Alabama attorney, you can use our Lawyer Directory.

 

Best of luck!

The FindLaw.com Team

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47 minutes ago, AzMom_AlDaughter said:

My daughter stayed in Alabama because her paternal grandparents have custody of her.

 

Why did the court award custody to them in the first place?  It is relatively rare for a court to award custody to a non-parent, and that sort of thing typically only happens when both parents are deemed to be unfit for some reason.

 

 

47 minutes ago, AzMom_AlDaughter said:

I've been searching for days on how to go about getting a change of custody from out of state with no luck.

 

Well...in the most general sense, you need to file the appropriate documents with the court, serve copies on the grandparents (and probably also the father), schedule a hearing.  Determining what those documents are will require some measure of legal research.  I suspect that relatively few law libraries in Arizona have relevant materials for Alabama family court matters.  Most likely the only such law libraries will be located on the campuses of law schools.  It's not clear why you didn't seek to have custody changed before leaving, but the best thing to do will be to hire a lawyer in the part of Alabama where the court with jurisdiction over this case is located.

 

 

47 minutes ago, AzMom_AlDaughter said:

Which forms do I need to change custody since I no longer live in her state and which state would I need to obtain an attorney if need be?

 

As far as I know, no one who posts here regularly is in Alabama, but I seriously doubt this is the sort of thing that could be done (solely) with fill-in-the-blank type forms.

 

 

47 minutes ago, AzMom_AlDaughter said:

Also, if my daughter wanted to come live with me in Az, what forms and would I file for that?

 

I'm not sure what distinction you're trying to make between this and changing custody.  No "forms" or anything else are required for your daughter to "want[] to come live with [you] in Az," and what she wants may or may not even be relevant depending on how old she is (which you didn't say).

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The Grandparents were granted custody because her father and I were young and felt she would do better with them until we matured and could provide for her, in all fashions, the way that she needs us to. It was a mutual decision. There was no neglect, abuse or anything of that nature. I fully intend on getting an attorney, I just wasn't sure which state I needed to seek council. Thank you all for your help. It's much appreciated. 

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If the grandparents are agreeable the change of custody should be very simple.  It would probably not involve much more than filing a petiton for the change and an agreed order modifying the custody.  I assume you have gotten the grandparents agreement to the change.

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That is where my problem lies. She is their only grandchild. After her father and I agreed to them getting her, the first year was fine, until I informed them that I was needing to move to Arizona to help take care of my mother. We set specific times a year I would come back for 2+ weeks to spend time with her but now they are giving us major problems because, once we regain custody, she will be moving to Arizona with me. They enjoy having her around, as any grandparent would, and they are fighting tooth and nail to keep her even though she has expressed, on a regular basis, how she wants to be with me or her father. 

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On 9/14/2016 at 7:37 PM, AzMom_AlDaughter said:

The Grandparents were granted custody because her father and I were young and felt she would do better with them until we matured and could provide for her, in all fashions, the way that she needs us to. It was a mutual decision.

 

Was a court order involved?  Or did you just send her to live with them?  If there is a court order, is it for custody or a guardianship?

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