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The Dos and Don’ts of Custody Battles and Arizona Child Custody Laws
When parents get divorced, things can get a bit messy in all areas of the split, but nothing is as important as their decisions regarding their children. Deciding who gets parenting time and how much time to give to whom is often very contentious. If parents can’t reach a formal agreement, they may end up in court where Arizona child custody laws and a judge will decide the matter.
If you are a parent preparing for a custody battle, there are a few things you can do to prepare beyond hiring a child custody attorney. While these are guidelines, not specific Arizona child custody laws, they will help you do the best for your children. That, in turn, should help you in child custody court matters.
1. Be Civil & Respectful with your Ex
You might feel like you never want to see your ex again; however, if you have children together you will have to work together to parent them, despite any disagreements or problems you may have with each other. It is possible to create a successful co-parenting plan even if you no longer want to be with the other parent, but you must be able to remain civil & respectful while keeping open your channels of communication. This advice also stands for social media: make sure you don’t post anything negative about your ex or anything that could be used against you while you are seeking custody of your children. It would be prudent for you to just avoid posting anything on social media at all until everything is settled.
2. Don’t Drag your Child into It
Be very aware of what you say in front of your child. Despite whatever your ex has done, they are still your child’s parent. Saying negative things or ranting and raving will only make your child feel like they can’t be honest with you about any of the good or bad they are experiencing when they spend time with their other parent. It can also lead to parental alienation, which can be very damaging to the family and to a child’s mental and social health. Speaking negatively about your ex can also harm your custody case and may illustrate an unwillingness to work through custody arrangements. This misbehavior can make things difficult for even the most experienced child custody attorney.
3. Be Detail Focused
Read up on Arizona child custody laws & statutes in your area and make sure you understand how/if they apply to your case. This can help prepare you for unexpected challenges and help you know the right questions you should be asking. In addition, make sure you know what’s going on in your child’s life. Showing that you are invested and actively participating in all aspects of your child’s life can be a huge influence on how the court awards custody and parenting time.
4. Keep Accurate Records and Notes
When it comes to legal matters, the more specific and accurate information you are able to compile, the more it will help your case. Make sure to keep detailed records of times and dates of all your visits and interactions with both your child and your ex. Keep notes regarding the events and people in your child’s life, including doctors, teachers, and counselors. Especially make sure to record any negative behaviors by your ex, such as breaking commitments or alienating behavior, as these details may impact the case in your favor.
5. Hire a Child Custody Attorney
One of the best ways you can make sure you are doing everything right when trying to gain custody of your children is to hire an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the process. This is especially important if both parents are struggling to come to an agreement on how parenting time should be split. GillespieShields has several attorneys who specialize in custody cases and would be pleased to meet with you to go over your options under Arizona child custody laws. Contact GillespieShields or call at 602-870-9700 to set up a consultation in the Phoenix or Mesa area.