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A second in loco parentis case in AZ

On Lawyer & Legal » Family Law

2,141 words with 1 Comments; publish: Sun, 31 Jul 2005 23:58:00 GMT; (800186.52, « »)

My partner had two children via anonymous donors. Her ex-partner left when the oldest was 5 and the youngest was 3. This is a lesbian situation. AFter my partner and I had been dating for 2 years, the ex- decided to go after the in loco parentis standing. My partner had no problem with that, but the ex- decided to go for more time than my partner (the sole-legal custodial parent) had agreed to. I am now starting my own in loco parentis standing case because if my partner were to die, even though we have our papers all in order, I am worried her ex- could fight me for custody. Do you have any advice or information about how the courts view a second in loco parentis situation? Have there been any other cases like this in AZ? Is it possible to win some time back from the ex-? Thanks for your response.

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    • The Arizona "in loco parentis" law, ARS 25-415, is available online. There is nothing in the statute which would prohibit more than one person from petitioning for visitation rights under the statute, and the statute seems to anticipate that possibility in subsection (E)(2), requiring notice of any proceeding under the statute to "A person who has court ordered custody or visitation rights." Of course, without clear authority, it is hard to know what any particular judge might do when asked to declare more than one third party to stand "in loco parentis".

      The statutes and case law I found do not suggest whether an "in loco parentis" finding would help a third party in a later custody action. Common sense, though, suggests that a court would take that finding iinto consideration, but would also look at the child's present circumstances.

      You would benefit from discussing this matter with an Arizona family lawyer. You might also be able to get useful information from the Human Rights Campaign.

      #1; Mon, 01 Aug 2005 08:30:00 GMT