Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: A rocky marriage just worse.I have been living away from my children since May 2013. I had limited communication with my 2 children until the end of November 2013 when all communication with them stopped. All communication stopped with spouse the end of December. My numbers were blocked from calling... He said on 2/9/14 that he is filing for divorce. What are my options of getting the children or at least shared custody?

Answer: When a parent starts a court case for legal separation or divorce, child custody and parenting time automatically become issues for the court to decide if the parents cannot agree.  Either parent may request in writing that the court decide what parenting time should be. The request is filed with the Clerk of the Superior Court and a filing fee is charged. http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/superiorcourt/self-servicecenter/forms/familycourt/fc_drdc1.asp. The court shall determine legal decision-making and parenting time, in accordance with the best interests of the child's physical and emotional well-being, including: •The past, present and potential future relationship between the parent and the child. •The interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child's parent or parents, the child's siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interest. •The child's adjustment to home, school and community. •If the child is of suitable age and maturity, the wishes of the child as to legal decision-making and parenting time. •The mental and physical health of all individuals involved. •Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent, meaningful and continuing contact with the other parent. •Whether one parent intentionally misled the court to cause an unnecessary delay. •Whether there has been domestic violence or child abuse •The nature and extent of coercion or duress used by a parent in obtaining an agreement regarding legal decision-making or parenting time. •Whether either parent was convicted of an act of false reporting of child abuse or neglect. A.R.S. 25-0403. http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/25/00403.htm&Title=25&DocType=ARS. If there is a dispute about parenting time, the court sometimes refers the parents to court mediation services. This process gives the parents an opportunity to reach an agreement regarding parenting time and related issues. However, if the parties are unable to agree on parenting time, the court must decide for them. Sometimes the court seeks professional advice to evaluate the family situation or offer an opinion about parenting time.  For more general information on child custody issues refer to: http://azlawhelp.org/documents/Microsoft%20Word%20-%20PAT%20Packet%201%20-%20General%20Information1.pdf  

QUESTIONS

  • A rocky marriage just worse.I have been living away from my children since May 2013. I had limited communication with my 2 children until the end of November 2013 when all communication with them stopped. All communication stopped with spouse the end of December. My numbers were blocked from calling... He said on 2/9/14 that he is filing for divorce. What are my options of getting the children or at least shared custody?

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