Who Has Custody of Children When a Divorce is Filed?
Both parents have the right to the care, custody, and control of their children when a divorce is filed. The court has the authority to issue orders establishing which (or both) parents have the right to make medical, educational and other decisions for the children. The judge also has the authority to order a parenting time order.
Simply stated, both parents are entitled to the care, custody and control of their children until a judge orders a specific child custody and parenting time schedule. Until then, there are no written rules regarding the children. This presents the potential of creating a situation wherein one or both parents unilaterally keep the children from the other parent.
That type of conduct, however, is viewed unfavorably by most judges. It may even provide the judge with a reason to make the innocent parent the children’s primary residential parent. Unless you and your spouse can reach agreements on your own, it is important for you to file a Motion for a Temporary Orders Hearing. This motion should be filed as soon as possible to avoid conflict between the parents, which many times negatively affect the children.
There are times when a spouse may have a question as to whether he is the biological father of a child born during the marriage. These are difficult and important concerns. Since you are married, the law automatically presumes you to be the father of the child with all of the rights and responsibilities that come with that status. If you do not address this issue as the first issue to be addressed, you may be precluded from doing so at a later date.
The Arizona Court of Appeals in the case of Pettit v. Pettit ruled that a parent cannot contest parentage or seek to attack his paternity of a child after a divorce decree has been entered. It is interesting that it does not appear from the decision that the father argued the mother committed a fraud on the court, which may have been a basis to overturn that divorce decree.
Contact Our Scottsdale Arizona Divorce Attorneys
If you are in need of a divorce lawyer in Arizona, the family law firm of Hildebrand Law, PC is only a phone call away. Our attorneys handle all types of divorce cases in Arizona. Please call (480) 305-8300 if you wish to speak with our Arizona divorce lawyers or have additional questions regarding Arizona divorce laws.