25th Oct 2017
Divorce is tough. And when children are involved, taking them through the process in a healthy way can be a challenge. Ensuring you have the best child custody lawyers in AZ and other states is a necessary step in the process.
More than twenty two million children live with a custodial parent in the US. according to a 2014 census. There are thirteen million single custodial parents and a majority of them could not settle the issues related to child support and custody out of court.
Particularly when there are younger children involved, issues such as custody and co-parenting can be touchy and tricky to handle. While it is absolutely necessary to support the children to stay healthy emotionally and physically, it can be challenging when one of the parents is uncooperative or insensitive.
Fighting the custody battles can be challenging and can call for strong financial, emotional and physical health reserves.
How Long Do Custody Battles Last?
Once a petition is filed, a temporary custody is usually decided by the judge for a period of one to two weeks. If there are psychological evaluations required the case would be adjourned for a period of three to four months to enable completion of the evaluation. Once the judge determines a trial is needed, another two to four months is given to conduct a discovery. Trials can last anywhere between three to nine months or as much as a year to conclude and depends on the judge’s time schedules.
The cost incurred depends on the complexity of the issue but can be anywhere between $25,000 to $50,000. While a simple non complicated trial can cost $25,000.00 a prolonged complex battle can cost as much as $100,000.
What Do The Custody Laws State?
While the child custody laws differ across the states in the US, the courts basically look at “the best interests of the child” when awarding custody. For instance, child custody laws in Arizona differ from child custody laws in Florida. Although the laws related to child custody can be complex, some of the common factors considered when awarding custody are:
- Age of the child or children
- Wishes of the child
- Parents’ wishes
- History or evidence of child abuse or domestic violence
- Physical and mental health of parents and children / child
- The child’s relationship with each parent
- Financial status of parents
- Criminal history if any of parents including drug abuse, murder convictions and sexual offenses
Do I Need A Child Custody Lawyer?
Custody decisions can be complicated at times in the following instances:
- When a joint custody is awarded by the court in the best interests of the child but one of the parents wants exclusive custody rights
- When grandparents file for custody when both parents are not emotionally or financially stable
- When there are siblings involved and they wish to stay together
- When parents are not married – while in some states unmarried mothers have to file for custody, in some others child custody is awarded by default to the mother.
- When either of the parents seek modifications in the custody arrangements. Some of these could be children wanting to live with the non-custodial parent as they grow older, or has problems getting along with the custodial parent. Modifications could also be sought when the custodial parent remarries and there are additional children involved. Felony charges, drug abuse, accidents or health of any of the individuals can also be reasons why modifications may be necessary.
Interstate custodial decisions can also be complicated at times when there is no consent from non-custodial parent for the relocation. Even with sole custody, the parent will have to petition the court if he or she wishes to relocate with the child. Child abduction, interference with visitation are other contentious issues that need the help of competent child custody lawyers. In addition to child custody lawyers in AZ, seeking divorce mediation in Arizona is another great option in difficult situations like these.