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Legal Decision Making (Custody)

Legal Decision Making (Custody)     Custody paralegal

Custody as it was formerly known is now referred to as Legal decision making. The issue of who makes legal decisions for the children is a sensitive area of family law and the court always treads carefully when considering the best interests of children.  Whether establishing legal decision making (custody) or modifying child custody or even terminating the parental rights of a child, the standard of proof that the court always considers is whatever is in the child’s best interest.

Establishing or Modifying Legal Decision Making (Child Custody)

There are several ways to establish legal decision making (child custody) in Arizona. The most common cases for establishing child custody are through a dissolution of marriage or through a paternity action.  Both a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) and Complaint for Paternity, for parents who are not married, may include a request to award one or both of the parents the ability to make legal decisions for the children such as health decisions, educational decisions, religious decisions and personal care decisions. Both parents are awarded parenting time not just one of the parents.  The standard in Arizona now is that both parents should be awarded equal parenting time unless it is proven that it would be in the children’s best interests not to award equal parenting time.

What if the parents are married but not living together? If the parents have been separated for a long time, one of the parents may file a Petition to establish legal decision making (custody), parenting time and child support.

If the parents were never married and one of the parents applies for AHCCCS, food stamps etc., the State of Arizona, Department of Economic Security will ask for information on the other parent for the purposes of establishing paternity in order to obtain child support from the other parent.  The State of Arizona is not interested in the legal decision making (custody) or parenting time issues that may have not been ordered between the parents and as such they will file the Complaint for Paternity and ask that the issues of custody and parenting time remain unadjudicated.  The parents may then file a Petition to Establish Custody and Parenting Time separately.

MODIFYING LEGAL DECISION MAKING (CHILD CUSTODY)

Do you already have a child custody order in Arizona? If there was an order regarding the issue of child custody entered either in a Dissolution of Marriage or through a Paternity action and one of the parents wants to change legal custody, then there are several factors that are considered before even granting a hearing to modify child custody.  Changing the legal custody of a child is considered to be a huge impact on the life of a child and therefore a hearing is not granted unless adequate cause has been shown to grant the hearing.  According to the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure, the court considers the wishes of the child, wishes of the parents, whether or not the parents have attended the mandatory parent education class, the mental and physical health of all parties involved, whether the child has adjusted to his or her surroundings, whether joint custody is logistically possible, who is more likely to encourage frequent and meaningful contact and many other factors relating to the child’s best interests.  The easiest way to modify child custody is when both parents agree to it.  Absent an agreement, a child custody order is difficult to change once ordered.

Note: The above information is provided for your convenience. It is not intended to be legal advice of any kind. No attorney/client relationship is created by you reading this information. If you have legal questions, please contact an attorney.

 

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Divorce without an AttorneyPhoenix and Tucson locations

Save thousands in legal fees. If you are looking for a Phoenix paralegal for divorce, child support, custody, and more, AZ Statewide Paralegal has offices in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona.  If you need to file in any county in Arizona, you can get started online or by phone.

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You will be assigned a legal document preparer who will walk you through the process every step of the way.  Your assigned legal document preparer is available in person, by phone and online so you will never be alone.  We do all of the work for you. All you have to do is sign and appear in court, if a court appearance is required.  Ask us how to avoid a court appearance; you may qualify.

Note: The above information is provided for your convenience. It is not intended to be legal advice of any kind. No attorney/client relationship is created by you reading this information. If you have legal questions, please contact an attorney.

Arizona Child Custody Paralegals in Phoenix and Tucson

Can an Arizona paralegal prepare child custody documents?

phoenix custody paralegal

If you have a current child custody order filed in any county in Arizona, and you are a parent that believes that it would be in the child’s best interest to modify the child custody order, a paralegal can prepare the legal documents for you so long as they have been certified by the Arizona Supreme Court and board of legal document preparers.

What information must be included in the paperwork for an Arizona Child Custody modification?

According to the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure, the court considers several factors when determining whether to even grant a hearing to modify child custody including but not limited to:

1) The wishes of the parents

2) The wishes of the child

3) The relationships between the child and family members

4) Which parent is more willing to encourage frequent and meaningful contact with the other parent

5) Whether a parent has used coercion or duress to obtain a custody agreement

6) The health and well being of all parties involved

7) Which parent has completed the required parenting class

8 ) If a parent has been convicted of false reporting of abuse or neglect

Can I modify Child Support at the same time that I modify Child Custody?

Yes, custody, parenting time and child support can all be addressed in one document and if a custody hearing is granted then all issues may be addressed at the same time in the same hearing.

Note: The above information is provided for your convenience. It is not intended to be legal advice of any kind. No attorney/client relationship is created by you reading this information. If you have legal questions, please contact an attorney

 

How fast can I modify child custody in Arizona?

Modifying an Arizona child custody order isn’t an easy process. In fact, most family law judges are very cautious and hesitant to change
a custody arrangement. I’ve found that what is more common to parents is that they want either more or less parenting time. The
process to modify parenting time takes about 4 to 5 weeks before the hearing takes place in Pima County. The process to modify custody
could take between 2 and 4 months. A hearing to modify custody may not even be scheduled unless the judge feels that adequate
cause exists to modify it. For more information visit our website. www.tucsondivorceparalegal.com. (520) 327-4000

Note: The above information is provided for your convenience. It is not intended to be legal advice of any kind. No attorney/client relationship is created by you reading this information. If you have legal questions, please contact an attorney.