Singer Pistiner, P.C. provides assistance on important issues when parents separate. Our Scottsdale child custody lawyers help in child relocation cases and can assist parents with issues related to parenting plans and child support.
When something as important as your child’s future is at stake, you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible when you decide to separate or divorce so your lawyer can begin providing you with immediate help making strategic decisions aimed at securing your preferred custody arrangement.
Singer Pistiner, P.C. not only provides personalized advice to clients who are involved in an initial custody case or who need to change custody orders, but we have also prepared answers to some common questions so parents can learn more about what to expect when it comes to custody issues. Browse some answers below and give us a call when you are ready to get an advocate on your side to help with custody issues.
How does the judge decide child custody issues?
A judge makes a decision on how custody should be divided only if parents cannot create a parenting plan. When a judge must make decisions on child custody, the judge will consider what is in the best interests of the child. Find out more about the Arizona laws regarding factors used to determine a child’s best interests.
How often should you change a child custody order?
In general, a child custody order shouldn’t change more often than every two years. If there is a material change in circumstances, however, a change may need to be made much sooner. A Scottsdale attorney explains.
Does a premarital agreement affect child custody or child support?
In general a premarital agreement will not impact child custody or support because these decisions must be made based on what is best for a child. Learn more.
What is physical custody?
Physical custody refers to who a child physically spends time with and which parent provides care to a child. Parents can create a parenting plan to determine how they should share physical custody. A judge can also determine an appropriate custody arrangement in situations where parents are not able to come to a consensus. Physical custody can be divided in different ways. Sometimes, parents will share custody while in other situations only one parent has sole custody. The best interests of the child standard is used to determine how parenting time is divided if a judge is asked to make the decision. Learn more.
What are a father’s custody rights if a child is born out of wedlock?
When a child is born out of wedlock, the father will need to prove paternity if paternity is disputed. Provided a DNA test proves a man is the father (or if the mother admits the man is the father), the father will have the right to petition for custody. Parents should try to agree on how to share parenting time, but a judge will decide on how to divide custody if parents do not agree. The judge will consider what is in the child’s best interests when deciding how much time the child should spend with the father. Learn more here.
What are some factors Arizona courts look at in deciding child relocation issues?
When one parent wants to relocate, the parent may need to get permission from either the other parent or from the court. When the court considers whether to allow relocation or not, the key factor that determines whether the child will be allowed to move is whether relocation would be in the child’s best interests. Learn more here.
What are different kinds of custody arrangements?
There are different ways that parenting time could be shared among parents. One parent could have sole custody, which would mean that only that parent cares for the child and the other parent either does not see the child or has limited visitation rights. Another option is one parent has primary custody and the other parent has visitation. A third option would be shared custody, which would let the child spend a lot of time with both parents under a parenting plan that worked for the family’s needs.
Should you ask for sole custody?
While you may not want to share your children, it is usually best for kids to be able to maintain relationships with both of their parents even after a separation or divorce. You should try to encourage this as a parent, and trying for sole custody is not a good way to help make sure your child continues to have two parents.
Asking for sole custody may also make it impossible for you to negotiate on the issue of custody, and it could result in you being forced to litigate the issue of custody. This is more expensive and often results in worse outcomes for both kids and parents. You’re also not likely to be successful and probably won’t be granted full custody unless there is a reason for it, like abuse or neglect. As a result, you should not ask for sole custody unless you have to because you do not think your ex is a fit parent.
Do the courts favor one parent over another?
There is a lingering misconception that courts are more likely to give custody to moms than to dads. This is not true. The court does not prefer any particular gender of parent over the other.
If you ask a family court judge to decide custody, the judge will consider things like which parent has provided the majority of the child’s care. Traditionally, this was moms, so it may seem as though moms are given preferential treatment.
Increasingly, however, stay-at-home dads or working dads are taking on more responsibility when it comes to primary care. A stay-at-home dad may be given more time with the kids than a mom who works all the the time, or the reverse could happen if the mom stays at home, just because of a preference for continuity of care.
What could cause loss of custody of the kids?
It is possible for a parent to be given either no visitation or only very limited visitation if there is a reason to suspect that the parent is not fit to provide care for the child. Abuse and neglect are examples of the types of behavior that could result in a parent being found unfit and not being allowed time with children. Serious addiction that interferes with a parent’s ability to care for the child could also be a factor that results in that parent being denied parenting time.
Can you ever get custody back after losing custody?
If your parental rights have not been terminated, it is possible under certain circumstances for a custody order to be changed to allow you more time with the kids or even to allow for you to get full or primary custody. The key question in determining if you could get custody back is whether a material change in circumstances has happened. If you can prove that your own situation has changed such that you are no longer a threat to a child, you could get more visitation or time with the kids.
If you could prove that you are able to care for the children when you couldn’t before and that your ex is now unfit to care for the children, it is possible that you could be given full custody and your ex would lose parenting time. It can be a challenge to try to convince the court that you deserve to get custody back after losing it, so you should work with an experienced attorney who can help you.
What should I look for in a child custody lawyer?
You need to make certain you are represented by a child custody lawyer who has strong negotiating skills in order to maximize the chances that you will be able to reach an out-of-court custody arrangement. It is also a good idea to make certain that your attorney has mediation experience in case you decide to work with a mediator to facilitate the creation of an out of court parenting plan.
Unfortunately, not every set of parents can come up with an out of court plan, even with help from mediators or skilled lawyers. As a result, you must make certain that your attorney also has litigation experience.
Singer Pistiner, P.C. is prepared to help you fight for your preferred custody arrangement either in court or out of it. Give us a call at 602-264-0440 or contact us online to find out more about the ways in which Scottsdale child custody lawyers can help.