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Child Custody Archives

Nesting as an alternative to traditional joint custody

Arizona parents who would like to share custody of their children after a divorce but who are concerned about the potentially destabilizing effect on the children of moving between homes might want to consider nesting. This refers to an arrangement in which the parents and not the children rotate in and out of the family home.

Steps to take if a parent is abusing drugs or alcohol

Some Arizona parents who are going through a divorce might think their child could be in danger if the other parent abuses drugs or alcohol. They should mention these concerns at the custody hearing. Having documentation of the parent's substance abuse as well as any evidence that it has a negative impact on the child will help support their case.

Handling electronic communications between parent and child

Some Arizona parents who are divorced may have a visitation agreement that includes an arrangement for the noncustodial parent to communicate with the child using text, phone calls or video calls. In some cases, custodial parents might wonder whether they can prohibit the other parent from communicating with their child in this way. In general, courts discourage cutting off contact between a parent and child unless there is an issue such as domestic abuse.

Tips for a child custody hearing

Arizona parents who are divorcing might also be heading toward a custody battle. These are best avoided because the judge will have the final say, and the parent may not like the outcome. However, if they are unable to reach a compromise with the other parent, there are steps they can take to make it more likely they will receive custody.

Helping children through a divorce

Arizona parents whose marriage is coming to an end and who are concerned about how their children might react to a divorce may want to take some steps to help them adjust. Parents should make an effort to not argue in front of their children or say anything negative about the other parent. Instead, they should react positively when children speak about their interactions with the other parent. Children may need to ask questions and might benefit from counseling.

Dealing with child custody exchanges

Arizona parents who are contemplating a divorce should know that child custody arrangements can be one of the most contentious issues that parents will have to address as they determine how to provide their child with what he or she needs to be well-adjusted. An arrangement typically details custody and visitation specifics, includes when, where and in what manner a child will be exchanged from the physical custody of one parent to the other.

How one parent's move may lead to changes in visitation

When Arizona parents divorce, they might agree to live near one another to make it easier for their child to move between households. However, this could change if one parent has a new partner a long distance away. That parent might want to move to be nearer that partner. Even though the parent may make an effort to settle somewhere that is not too far from either their new partner or their child, the commute could be an added burden. The other parent might react angrily and refuse to drive the child to the home of the parent who has moved.

Primary caregivers and the best interests of the child

Child custody and visitation disputes in Arizona are often bitter and contentious, and family law judges are frequently called upon to make decisions that can have profound and far-reaching consequences. These can be extremely difficult decisions to make, and judges generally consider two major factors when choosing which parent will be granted primary custody. Judges first determine which of the child's parents has taken on the role of primary caregiver, and they then choose a course of action based upon the child's best interests.

Common problems that interfere with parenting plans

Arizona parents who are ending their marriages typically agree to some form of joint custody of their children or a visitation schedule that allows the noncustodial parent regular access to children. Like any agreement, a certain amount of cooperation is necessary among the parties involved. When legal disputes about parental visitation occur, they usually arise from hostile feelings between the parents, failure to follow the schedule or alienation of the child.

How the Hague Convention protects against child abduction

Arizona parents who are getting a divorce and who are concerned that the other parent might try to take their child to another country may not be aware that the Hague Convention covers international child abductions. The United States is one of more than 90 countries that have signed the treaty. The International Child Abduction Remedies Act is a federal statute that also covers the issue. Theoretically, when a parent in the United States files a petition in either state or federal court, a child under the age of 16 who has been gone for less than a year is supposed to be returned immediately if the other country is also a signatory. However, this is not always the case.

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