A divorce, in itself, is difficult. Whatever the divorcing parties are going through is made further complicated by the accompanying legal proceeding. On top of this are multiple discussions on would-be co-parenting set-ups.
Note that matters related to child custody rights have differed significantly through the years. In contrast to traditional times, where custody of the child is ‘automatically’ given to the mother, courts today do not take gender as a main consideration. When assigning legal custody, all factors looked into must be for the best interest of the child.
Proceedings in the courthouse that are related to child custody are often very sensitive. It has a tremendous impact on the life of the child. Furthermore, instances where tensions rise and tempers flare up while in the family court are not uncommon.
Getting legal help from a reliable child custody lawyer is necessary for several reasons. Among the most commons are the ones listed below:
1) A child custody attorney can assist before and while you draft a custody agreement with your former spouse. Note that divorced parents are allowed to come up with a custody arrangement on their own. Although drafting, modifying, and finalizing the plan (until the parties arrive at an actual agreement) can take some time, this is often the easiest route. It is a lot simpler when compared to court-ordered custody.
2) Under relevant family law in Arizona, if the parties do not agree, a court order will determine who is awarded custody. Since it involves the right to legally make decisions for the child, you have to be extra careful with your actions. Having a child custody lawyer working with you will ensure that you do what must be done. You must file the necessary paperwork promptly and properly.
3) Child custody lawyers can help explain in detail custody laws currently in place. Not a lot are aware that it is not anymore uncommon for the court to award custody (be it primary physical custody or joint custody) to the father of the child. This is because when granting parenting time, visitation rights, and custody, the best interests of the child are at the center of discussions.
4) Child custody attorneys can brief you on how payment of child support influences proceedings. When you regularly pay child support, you establish that you can provide both the emotional and financial needs of your child. A good local attorney can explain to you how negligence to pay for child support can affect your chance of getting custody during the actual legal proceeding.
5) Given its very sensitive nature and its impact on the life of those involved, child custody laws are often complicated. While being unmarried would mean you do not have to go through some messy dissolution of marriage, there are additional steps that you might have to take. Before parental rights are recognized by the court, paternity must first be established. A custody lawyer can help you with related legal documents.
6) It is not uncommon that court-ordered visitation is not enforced as it should. While there are cases where the non-custodial parent goes beyond the limits given by the court, some divorced fathers are, in contrast, prevented from spending time with their children. If your former spouse is keeping your child, and it is not because of an illness or emergency or illness, a custody attorney can help you insist that a court-ordered visitation schedule is enforced.
7) When the above happens, non-custodial parents must keep a record of when the custodial parent did not allow them to spend time with their children. Such will be useful for custody disputes. A child custody lawyer can help you file a petition asking the court to enforce your custody and visitation rights. While this can be done on your own, legal documents can be quite confusing. A family law professional may also legally ask the non-custodial parent to cooperate.
8) Violators would likely be asked to make up for missed visitations, attend counseling sessions, or make improvements on the parenting plan. While custody lawyers can explain to you the consequences that your former spouse could face, they can also warn you of what you must not do. Despite recurring custody violations, do not stop paying child support. Even if the other parent is keeping the child away from you, never take the child by force. This is parental kidnapping.
For questions on child custody laws or for assistance in bringing custody cases to court, Talk to us at Dodds Law Firm to consult with a reliable child custody attorney. Give us a call at (623) 544-2980.