In this article, you will learn:
- The father’s obligation to prove paternity
- Which parent is likely to receive custody
- How custody determination are generally made
At birth, dad doesn’t really have a whole lot of rights at all. We have things that create a presumption of paternity like having a name on the birth certificate or that sort of thing, but the ideal approach, the good-dad approach, is if you’re not married to someone and you have a kid with them, set something up right away, go to court, get an order affirming your paternity, get a parenting plan in place, get legal decision-making in place, and get child support in place, because if you don’t, you might find that happening later, and it’ll be on mom’s petition and on mom’s terms. If nobody sets anything up, there is nothing official; there is nothing that was court ordered, and there is no judge’s signature on anything. Whatever agreement you thought you had is incredibly easy to break. A good dad is proactive, gets something set up immediately, and has something in clear black & white language so everybody knows what’s expected and what’s going to happen. A bad dad just kind of hangs out and one day gets the rug pulled out from under him because he never took any kind of proactive steps to secure his rights.
How To Tell Which Parent Is More Likely To Receive Primary Custody If The Parents Are Divorcing Or Not Raising A Child Together
Now there are laws about that are very gender-neutral. We have a set of factors that the judge is going to use to figure out who is going to be mainly raising this kid and what time each parent will spend. We call those factors the best interest factors, and the big factors we see are what kind of relationship do you have with this kid, how adjusted are they to your house, what are their viewpoints and opinions on it, how are you going to facilitate their time with the other parent, and things like that. If you don’t have a relationship with your kid, guess what, the person who does have the relationship is going to spend more time with them. And that’s why good dad’s going to go there and he’s going to develop that relationship with the kid. He’s going to be able to say, “I have a good strong loving relationship with my kid, they spend the bunch of time with me, we do all sorts of cool stuff together, they’re well-adjusted to their community and school, and I’m really involved in their lives.” If you can’t say that, the judge might decide it is in the child’s best interest to spend most of their time with the other person.
How Custody Is Supposed To Be Determined When Parents Are Not Married Or Divorcing In Arizona
So, we always have a starting point, and that starting point is equal parenting time, joint legal decision making, that’s our ideal and that’s where you should end up if all goes well. You should have equal amount of time, but there are different kinds of equal parenting time plans. For example, you may have week-on week-off time, or you may have two days with you and then two days with the other person and alternate weekends, and you might have joint legal decision-making where you’re supposed to be communicating with each other and arriving at decisions jointly. If we go away from that, it’s going to be based the 25-403 factors – the best interest of the child standard. That’s what’s going to tell the judge if we need to move away from that starting point. Just because we like to start there from a policy standpoint doesn’t mean for sure we’re going to end up there after we look at the facts and the evidence, and that’s why having a good attorney to develop the facts and present the evidence is so important.
For more information Family Law in Arizona, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (623) 696-3429 today.