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S. Huband, Esq.
S. Huband, Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1628
Experience:  Experienced, and knowledgeable family law attorney.
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My two step sons, age 10 and 6, have been living with my

Customer Question

My two step sons, age 10 and 6, have been living with my husband and I full time for over a year now. Their mother has only seen them a total of 4 hours during this time frame (by her choice) which happened to be on Christmas Day 2014. The original divorce and custody documents state that the custody is to be shared. She was to have them weekdays and we would have weekends. My question is, is she able to take them back at any time even though she's been absent for a full year? Not to mention that she has been to jail for drug related charges during this time and had her two younger children (fathered by another man) taken away from the state. We have tried contacting CPS to see if the children are even allowed around her but they are vague and haven't been very much help. Just wanting to know what our options are and if we can deny her taking them on any given day if she asks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the opportunity to assist you.

Until the court order is changed, yes, she can come get the boys and take them at any time she's allowed by the current order to have them. What your husband should do is go back to court and get full custody. The mother has lost interest, she's been to jail, she can't take care of herself let alone the boys. Besides, your husband essentially has full custody now anyway. I doubt you'd have much trouble convincing a judge to make the switch under the circumstances.

Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

CPS probably doesn't want to be seen as giving legal advice. That's likely why they were a bit coy when answering your questions.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I suppose he's worried about going through with it without a lawyer, but unfortunately lawyers are expensive. He had filed paperwork to stop the child support and unfortunately since he didn't entirely know what he was doing, all that did was have have the money that kept coming out of his paycheck checks held but not given to her right away. We were under the assumption that that money would come back to us but for some reason the courts saw fit to give her that lump sum of money even though she hadn't been involved whatsoever for over 6 months at that time. Do you recommend a lawyer or is this something we should be able to manage on our own?
Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

It's always better to use an attorney if you can. Try your local Legal Aid/Legal Services if you can't afford an attorney. The court may have DIY change of custody forms for your use.

The child support, like visitation, will remain in place per the order until the order is changed. If your husband files to change custody, he can also file to change support. The judge can make the change in child support retroactive back to the day he filed for the change in custody, but not before. Yet another reason to file ASAP!

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and (B) please wait to rate until I ask you to do so. It may take a few replies for me to be able to render an complete answer. I will let you know when I do.

Your previous expert has opted out and I have opted in. Your last question was about recommending an attorney. You can find a good listing at http://www.martindale.com.

If you would like leads to pro bono/low cost attorneys within AZ, please let me know.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Gentle Reminder: Use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith.

Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, this is Shuband, the original expert who handled this question. Another expert gave you additional information, but I did NOT opt out of this question. I don't know what happened; it's just a technical glitch I suppose. I don't think that Ely or I did anything purposefully wrong. But I did NOT intend to get out of the question.

So, if you have any follow up questions or concerns that I can help you with, please let me know. Otherwise, please let me know what, if anything, I can do to earn a positive rating for my work. Thanks again for using Justanswer!

Shuband