What happens to the children is often one of the primary concerns of two parents who are going through a divorce. You want to do everything you can to protect the interests of your kids, including shielding them from unnecessary duress and strain during this difficult time of transition and change. One way you can do this is by providing your kids with a reasonable and sustainable custody and visitation order.
Custody is a complex and emotionally charged issue, and there are many misconceptions surrounding how it works, what is best for the kids and the rights of parents. It is in your interests to have a complete understanding of your parental rights, state custody laws and your specific legal options. Misconceptions and misunderstandings could lead to agreements that are not truly best for the kids.
The facts about child custody
Many people do not understand how the courts make decisions on child custody and what factors could impact the terms of their final order. Three of the most common misconceptions about child custody include:
- You have to go to court for custody and visitation matters – In reality, you and the other parent can make decisions on child custody through discussions and negotiations. However, it may help to remember that any agreement is subject to final approval by the court.
- One parent can keep the other from seeing or contacting his or her child – While parental alienation is a legitimate concern in some cases, a parent cannot keep the child from the other parent or violate the terms of a child custody order.
- Only parents can get custody and visitation – In some cases, grandparents and other family members have grounds to petition the court for access to the kids. If the parents are unable to care for the kids, other family members may step into a custodial role.
The ultimate goal of any child custody agreement is to protect the best interests of the children above all else. An Arizona family court will hold this as its primary goal when considering a custody and visitation order presented by the parents or when making decisions on a final order. You have the right to fight for an outcome that allows you regular access to your kids and provides them with stability for years to come.