Thank you for the additional information. First off, she may not have standing/the grounds, to obtain custody of your son, since she is not the mother
. While your ex husband could petition the court for full custody, he would first need to have your parental rights
terminated and then ask the court to allow her to adopt your son, for her to have any legal right to him. Without this happening, she can not do anything herself nor have standing to proceed. It would have to be done by your ex husband. Whenever the Judge is deciding a custody issue, her/she will always act in the best interest of the child
. Below is the Arizona statute which the Judge will use and reference. There is nothing wrong with the attorney speaking with your son but if you think he was coached and told what to say, you can always bring this to the attention of the Judge. The Judge may want to speak with your son and see what, if anything, he was told and what problems are present. If you currently have legal custody of your son, the burden will be on the father, to show that it needs to be changed, based upon his best interest. This is certainly going to be hard for him to do. If you are served with papers, you would want to reach out and contact Legal Aid, to represent you and help with the matter. Here is a link with their contact information.
25-403. Legal decision-making; best interests of child
A. The court shall determine legal decision-making and parenting time, either originally or on petition for modification, in accordance with the best interests of the child. The court shall consider all factors that are relevant to the child's physical and emotional well-being, including:
1. The past, present and potential future relationship between the parent and the child.
2. The interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child's parent or parents, the child's siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interest.
3. The child's adjustment to home, school and community.
4. If the child is of suitable age and maturity, the wishes of the child as to legal decision-making and parenting time.
5. The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.
6. Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent, meaningful and continuing contact with the other parent. This paragraph does not apply if the court determines that a parent is acting in good faith to protect the child from witnessing an act of domestic violence
or being a victim of domestic violence or child abuse
7. Whether one parent intentionally misled the court to cause an unnecessary delay, to increase the cost of litigation or to persuade the court to give a legal decision-making or a parenting time preference to that parent.
8. Whether there has been domestic violence or child abuse pursuant to section 25-403.03.
9. The nature and extent of coercion or duress used by a parent in obtaining an agreement regarding legal decision-making or parenting time.
10. Whether a parent has complied with chapter 3, article 5 of this title.
11. Whether either parent was convicted of an act of false reporting of child abuse or neglect under section 13-2907.02.
B. In a contested legal decision-making or parenting time case, the court shall make specific findings on the record about all relevant factors and the reasons for which the decision is in the best interests of the child.
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