Divorce and Children in Arizona
The issue often comes up regarding divorce and children in Arizona. One of the first things most people facing a divorce in Arizona think about is what effect a divorce will have on the children, as well as what parenting time arrangements will be ordered and how decisions affecting those children will be made.
Decisions regarding the schools the children will attend, the doctors they will see, and the extracurricular activities the kids will participate can all be a challenge. If one of the parents uses these issues as a way to manipulate or control the other parent, the results to the children can be very damaging.
Who Has Custody When a Divorce With Children in Arizona is Filed
Until the court issues temporary child custody orders, neither parent’s rights are superior to the other parent’s rights. This may be fine with an intact family unit, but it can create serious problems if one of the parents chooses to not allow the other parent to see the children or tries to dictate the schedule by saying “accept my agreement or I will not let you see the children”.
This is a tactic that will not bode well for parent keeping the children from the other parent. A judge can and will consider the willingness of each parent to facilitate a relationship between the children and the other parent.
So, it is in everyone’s best interests, especially the best interests of your children, that a temporary arrangement is agreed upon that facilitates both parents’ right to spend time with their children.
Child Custody and Divorce: Temporary Orders
Either party may ask the court to schedule a Temporary Orders Hearing if the parents cannot agree upon decisions for the children or cannot agree upon the parenting time schedule that should be implemented. The court will schedule a time for a Temporary Orders hearing, will listen to the testimony of witnesses, and will consider any exhibits the parties offer to the Court.
The court will then issue a ruling. With that said, most judges are not happy when there are no significant issues as to each parents’ ability to care for the children because most judges feel parents and their attorneys should be able to resolve these issues without involving the court. It is important, therefore, that you are not the unreasonable parent causing the conflict or unreasonable disagreements regarding the children.
Child Custody and the Final Divorce in Arizona
Some people still do not agree with the child custody orders entered by the judge as the Temporary Orders of the court. They are then faced with litigating those child custody issues at a final trial.
If a parent is attempting to obtain a different outcome at the final divorce trial, he or she will likely have the chance to obtain more evidence on the issues, as well as being able to testify about the other parent’s conduct during the divorce.
Some people may have undergone a complete child custody evaluation by an expert, including numerous interviews with the expert and all of the family members, as well as psychological testing and an opinion from that expert. The court will consider the opinions of that expert as well as consider all of the other evidence your produce at trial before ruling on the final Arizona child custody orders.
Chris Hildebrand wrote this article about divorce and children in Arizona to ensure everyone has access to information about child custody in Arizona. Chris is a family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a divorce should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and actually caring about what his clients are going through.