A divorce is an event of great stress for both the partners and their families. Children are the worst sufferers since they are at so tender age that they could not express themselves completely. Their mental health is affected to a large extent in this time of separation. It is, therefore, a matter of utmost priority to take care of these innocent brains when the couple decides to separate their ways.
The major issue is about the custody of the children after the couple gets divorced. Unless decided upon mutually, the court of law can be approached to decide what is there in the best interest of the kids. Generally speaking, mothers are the most preferable choices to be given child’s custody, but not necessarily.
The court puts down its final verdict by considering the personal character references of parent’s personal lifestyle and parenting skills, the primary caregiver, the moral characters of the parents, and the financial status of each parent. Based on these assertions and pieces of evidence, the type of child custody is decided upon.
Type of Child Custody in Arizona
Arizona now uses the term legal decision-making instead of child custody in these types of cases.
The Arizona Legal System determines the following three types of child custody:
- Sole Custody or Sole Legal Decision Making – One parent receiving whole custody and is responsible for making all major decisions for the child/children.
- Joint Custody or Joint Legal Decision Making – Both the parents are given equal decision-making rights and responsibilities of the child/children.
- In Loco Parentis – Custody being given to the significant parent-type person whom the child considers as his parent.
Whatever type of custody claim one chose to contest in the court of law, the final decision is made by the judges, taking into consideration what is best in the interest of the child.
However, a child support lawyer in Scottsdale can guide you through all legal procedures and what things can turn the verdict in favor of both or any one of the parents.
Factors that can help you to win the child’s custody
Other than the child’s statement during proceedings for the custodial arrangements, there are other deciding factors too, which could work in your favor.
A promising reference letters
A reference letter from family, friends, acquaintances, etc. which outlines your qualities as a parent, can win a half battle for you. The letter must mention events that should show your commitment to your child, a concern for their health and well-being, your active participation or moral support in your child’s school and any extracurricular activities.
Behavior inside the courtroom
One may get agitated during the on-going proceedings. It is recommended not to show anger during your court hearing. This may make the Judge believe that you are a person of weak temperament, which may affect the upbringing of the children.
Your plans for raising the child
Your plan for the future concerning your child’s health, mental development, education, career, etc. makes a big impression. A good practical plan can turn the tables in your favor. Remember to make the promises which are in tune with your present financial status.
Who has always been a primary carer?
The primary carer is a child’s most important support, usually since birth. It can be either of the parent or somebody else (grandmother or grandfather). The primary carer is the one who has been taking care of the child’s basic need for meal, bathing, shopping, making them socially active, participating in school’s activities as a parent and helping them to learn discipline. This makes primary carer inseparable from the child and hence, the court has to consider this factor while making a final judgment over custody of the child.
Good Physical, Mental and Financial health
The physical and mental health of the parents affects this biggest decision. The proper examination for any physical or mental ailment is conducted to clarify over this.
Similarly, the financial aspect is also taken into consideration since they need to give a secured future to the child.The capacity of the parent to provide the child with medical care, food, clothing, and the opportunity for extracurricular activities is assessed and then the decision is made.
No Evidence of Drug/Alcohol Abuse
In case any of the parents is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the decision is made in favor of the other parent. Drugs and alcohol lead to physical and verbal abuse, which negatively affects the personality of the child. In case, if your relatives, neighbors, and others give an oral testimony about your non-abusive behavior with children and even with others, you have a great chance of having your child’s custody. Medical records can also help the court in this respect.
Parent’s Affair or Non-Marital Sexual Relationship
If the child is not comfortable with their parent’s affair or non-marital sexual relationship, the court withdraws parent’s right of sole or sometimes, even the joint custody. If you are having working with other life-partner, make sure they are in good books of the child.
In this hard time, understand the mental state of the child. It is very difficult for him/her to accept this family breakage. Try to make this separation as smooth as possible.