Phoenix, AZ – Child custody hearings are focused on giving a child the best possible environment to grow and develop. A judge is required by state law to use a standard called the best interests of the child to look at certain relevant parenting factors. This gives the judge assigned to the case latitude to determine a custody arrangement that works to meet the needs of the child and ensure that parents will follow an order once it is in place.
Parents should ultimately be concerned with showing that they have the abilities and resources to meet a child’s best interests based on the factors analyzed under state law.
The prior relationship with the child
If a parent has already invested significant time and money into raising their child, this evidence should be available and reviewed by the judge. This can include things like transportation, doctor’s appointments, involvement in school, as well as other activities. Especially if one parent has been doing most of these things for the child, it is likely that the judge will want to award them most of the custody time based on their ability to provide and history or doing so. When the responsibilities have been split more evenly, it is likely that a judge will try to come up with a joint custody arrangement that has close to equal parenting time.
Serious problems with the other parent
If the other parent has had problems in their past that are related to neglect, domestic violence, or other criminal activity, this should absolutely be brought to the judge’s attention. This may cause the offending parent to lose custody time, or their parenting rights altogether, however the state considers this necessary to keep the child safe and avoid the possibility of future episodes of abuse and trauma.
Prior arrangements that work
When parents have successfully been able to split their child raising duties, this should be emphasized as well. It is possible that some of these arrangements may continue even after a new custody plan is in place. A couple that is in total agreement on how to split their responsibilities can also come up with a shared custody plan and have the court approve it. This level of agreement will eliminate most of the problems that couples deal with during custody disputes.
More information from a family attorney in Phoenix
Anyone who is about to go through a divorce, child custody hearing, or related family law problems can meet with a licensed attorney in Phoenix to ask questions and get help. Schneider and Onofry is an experienced local firm that assists clients with all aspects of family law.
Firm contact info:
207 W. 2nd St., Yuma AZ 85364
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