Schneider & Onofry, P.C. are divorce and child custody lawyers in Yuma, Arizona who can assist you if you are in the process of making decisions about child custody or are in the process of drafting a parenting plan with your former partner. One of the most difficult aspects about divorce is that you and your former partner will likely be living in different homes and you’ll have to make decisions about where your children will live and how parenting decisions will be made. It is usually best when parents can resolve their differences outside of court with the help of a child custody lawyer like Schneider & Onofry, P.C. However, there are sometimes situations where parents may sometimes face difficulties making these critical decisions. Sometimes, when parents disagree, cases must go before a judge. During this process, you may hear about the best interests of the child standard. In general, parenting plan decisions should always be made with the best interests of the children in mind. Parents are usually best to determine what is best for their children. However, if you and your former partner cannot agree about a parenting plan, you may need to take your child custody case to court. If this happens, the judge will use the best interests of the child standard when making custody decisions. Schneider & Onofry, P.C. are child custody attorneys in Yuma, Arizona who can help you understand your rights when it comes to the best interests of the child standards and help you navigate the process of making child custody decisions when the courts are involved.
What Factors do Judges Look for When Making Child Custody Decisions in Yuma, Arizona?
It is important to understand that the best interests of the child standards are not strict rules, but rather more general and flexible guidelines judges are instructed to use when parents cannot make decisions about custody on their own, outside of court. Because these guidelines are flexible, it can sometimes be difficult to predict which factors judges might weigh more heavily. Parents who take child custody battles to court always run the risk that a judge will make child custody arrangements that neither parent wants. Because it can be difficult to change a child custody arrangement once one has been made by the court, it may be wise to try to resolve your child custody questions outside of court with the assistance of the child custody lawyers of Schneider & Onofry, P.C. in Yuma, Arizona. However, there are situations where parents cannot resolve their disagreements regarding child custody. For example, parents who are concerned for the safety of their children or who want to request supervised visitation, may need to take their case before a judge. If your case may go to court, here are some factors the judge may consider when making child custody decisions:
- Stability. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway
, preservation of a stable family life for the child is generally the goal. Judges will often look at which parent is the child’s primary caretaker and will generally make decisions that allow this parent to continue to serve this role. So, if you were the parent taking the children to school, helping the children with homework, helping the children with feeding and bathing, and managing school and after-school activities, you may be able to show the court that physical custody with you will preserve a stable family life for your child. If you have questions about how to document this, Schneider & Onofry, P.C. are child custody lawyers in Yuma, Arizona who may be able to help you.
- Safety. If there has been violence or domestic violence in your home, the courts may favor the parent that doesn’t have a criminal record or a restraining order. However, it is very important to properly document any instances of violence or abuse. Parents who make false accusations of domestic violence and abuse are not viewed favorably during child custody matters. This is where having a proper restraining order or records of police reports can be helpful. Schneider & Onofry, P.C. are child custody lawyers who can help you document any cases of abuse and help you understand what the court can and cannot do when it comes to child custody. For example, the courts generally favor situations where parents enjoy contact with their children, so the court may order supervised visitation. Only in very rare cases will the courts completely bar a parent from seeing a child.
When it comes to child custody battles, it is important to take steps to protect your rights. Schneider & Onofry, P.C. are child custody attorneys who can help you understand how the courts will review your case and help you document your case to give you the best possible opportunity for a favorable outcome. That said, if there is any way that you and your former partner can resolve your child custody questions outside of court, with the assistance of a child custody attorney, like Schneider & Onofry, P.C. in Yuma, Arizona, you should do so. Taking a child custody battle to court always has its risks and the outcome can be less predictable.
Protect Your Children
At the end of the day, the courts will make child custody decisions that protect the safety and interests of the children involved. The courts will want to make decisions that preserves the children’s stability and well-being. If you are facing a child custody battle in Yuma, Arizona, you may want to gather documentation that shows that you are the child’s primary caretaker. Documentation can include emails with the children’s doctors, teachers, and other community leaders. If you are concerned for the safety of your child, criminal records and records of restraining orders can also be useful. If you have questions about your rights when it comes to child custody, contact Schneider & Onofry, P.C., a child custody lawyer in Yuma, Arizona today. Our firm can help.