Father and mother are no longer living together in AZ and were never married and have two biological children together. Mother and father were co parenting and the children were fine with that arrangement, then mother lied and got a protective order against the father. Mother is a documented alcoholic, evidence of being promiscuous and she is unemployed. Mother has the children and the father has not seen the children for 4 months! The better interest attorney said there is evidence that the mother is brainwashing the children, not getting all her scheduled drug tests and has not been available for any or all of the scheduled home visits to check on the kids. The BIA recommended to the custody judge to dismiss the PO against the children because she believed father was not a threat to the children but the custody judge refused and instead wants to put the case in juvenile court unless there is a motion to set a hearing. Father is a terrific father and grandmother is willing and capable to help father if needed.
If paternity has been established and legal decision making and parenting time have been ordered, then modification of current orders or petition to enforce would seem to be the correct avenue. It appears that mother has a number of issues and the BIA is supportive of father so a referral to juvenile court doesn’t make much sense in this situation unless the judge things that a termination of parental rights is appropriate. This situation seems very complex and somewhat unusual so I would encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of our family law lawyers. 602-548-3400.