Phoenix Child Custody Lawyer
Determining Factors in Arizona
Child custody cases are generally decided in terms of what the court deems to be in the best interests of the child. In order for the court to make a decision on child custody, it will review evidence submitted by both spouses, including testimony, financial information, discussions about who has been the primary caregiver and other pertinent facts that are necessary to make a final decision. Before taking legal action regarding custody, one should collect the following information regarding one's life and financial situation:
- Income statements
- Any medical conditions
- Tax returns
- Any criminal records
- Employment history
- Any abuse allegations
In addition, a parent should establish and maintain contact with their children to the best of their ability. In custody cases, the court will meticulously review the degree to which one is involved in their children's lives. Documentation of trips, gifts bought, phone calls made, and functions attended are crucial if one is to convince the court of their case. If you are seeking a resolution of a child custody matter, it is strongly advised you contact a Phoenix divorce lawyer who can represent your position in court and fight for an outcome that is in the best interests of your child.
Types of Child Custody Arrangements
In the state of Arizona, courts may choose to grant sole legal custody to one parent or joint legal custody to both parents. A parent who is granted sole custody has the authority to make the final decision on major life decisions such as where the child will attend school, the child's extra-curricular activities and the health care that the child will receive. While the other parent is still entitled to obtain some information about the child, it is the parent with sole custody who will make all of the decisions. Joint legal custody requires both parents to reach an agreement regarding the major life decisions that affect their children. A court-ordered parenting plan will carefully outline each parent's rights and responsibilities, and disagreements that arise between parents can be solved through mediation or with the help of a Parenting Coordinator. The Wallin Law Firm is available to provide you with immediate assistance in your custody and child support cases.
Have you become the victim of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)?
As most parents will explain, the most difficult part of a divorce is usually deciding upon who will gain custody of the children. For this reason, it is no surprise that a custody battle can get ugly. When one or both parents engage in underhanded and manipulative behaviors, however, the consequences can be devastating.
Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is a term that is used to describe the damaging effects that manipulative tactics can have on a child that is caught in the middle of a contentious divorce. Whether one parent is attempting to gain a favorable custody arrangement or they are seeking revenge against their former spouse, they may knowingly use their child, or children, as pawns in their game. One parent may denigrate the other in front of their children, make false accusations or even fill their children's impressionable minds with the idea that the other parent doesn't care about them.
Not only can this be damaging for the targeted parent's relationship with their children, but it can also have lasting effects on the children that have been forced into this unhealthy situation. For this reason, this type of behavior is not tolerated under the law. Some even look at these manipulative actions as child abuse. As such, if you believe that your former spouse has been engaging in this type of behavior in order to gain a more favorable divorce settlement and/or custody arrangement, it is vital that you discuss this with an experienced lawyer immediately. No one should be denied the right to raise their children if they have unlawfully targeted by a bitter ex-spouse, so you should not hesitate to follow up with the appropriate action if this has been happening to you. For further information about your options or about modifying the terms of your current custody arrangement, contact The Wallin Law Firm today.