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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Co-Parenting With a Narcissist: Tips and Strategies

Parental Alienation In Arizona

While co-parenting can be difficult, it might seem unachievable if your ex is a narcissist.

Regretfully, you are aware of how a narcissist prioritizes their own self-interest over their parental duties and disregards the welfare of their children. You know how they deceive, how they manipulate, how they abuse emotions in an attempt to gain respect and control.

Additionally, if you’re divorcing a narcissist, you’re probably coping with the fallout from a highly contentious custody dispute and attempting to work out a complicated custody arrangement.

But don’t give up—if you have the correct attitude and parenting resources, you can create plans to lessen conflict and successfully co-parent with a narcissist.

Narcissism: What is it?

When sharing custody with a narcissistic ex, it’s critical to understand exactly what narcissism is. This makes it easier for you to deal with them and lessen the harm they cause to your child by enabling you to understand what drives their behavior.

Narcissism is more than just a propensity for selfishness or self-centeredness; rather, it is an extreme form of self-involvement in which the individual is indifferent to the needs of others or the consequences of their actions.

Remember that a person with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is not the same as someone who just has a narcissistic personality. NPD is a mental health condition that a psychiatrist or psychologist will diagnose. An individual must continuously display at least five of the following characteristics in order to be diagnosed with NPD:

  • Excessively lofty and conceited feeling of importance
    Obsession with grandiose fantasies Belief in their own superiority over others
    Excessive need for validation, praise, and adoration
    Possession of rights and anticipation of favorable treatment
    Lack of empathy and unwillingness to take other people’s feelings into account Believing that other people are envious of them
    Extreme conceit and snobbishness. While exhibiting any of the aforementioned behaviors on a regular basis, a person with narcissistic personality traits may not fit the NPD diagnostic criteria or receive an official diagnosis.

Thinking of narcissism as a spectrum, with narcissistic personality disorder at the other end, and someone with a few narcissistic traits that negatively impact others at the other, can be helpful. Your co-parenting techniques take into account your ex’s particular behaviors, where they are on the spectrum, and the dynamics of your relationship.

A narcissistic parent: what is it?

A narcissistic parent puts themselves before their child; rather than fostering the child’s growth into a mentally sound adult, a narcissistic parent is only interested in utilizing the child to further their own self-serving agenda.

Instead of viewing their child as an individual, a narcissistic parent views them as an extension of themselves. When their child doesn’t live up to their irrational expectations, they frequently try to live through them and punish them. Their child’s independence and interactions with other people, particularly with the other parent, make them feel threatened and possessive. On the other hand, a narcissistic parent may be careless or even completely ignore their child if they are unable to use them to further their own agendas.

Narcissists are erratic people who frequently lose their cool and become furious with their kids and other people. To increase their own sense of value, they purposefully undermine their child’s confidence and sense of self-worth. In order to get their way, they frequently lie, guilt-trip, gaslight, and employ other emotional manipulation techniques. They can also become obsessed with controlling both their child and their co-parent.

Children who grow up with a narcissistic parent face serious, lifelong psychological consequences such as low self-esteem, internalized guilt and shame, and trouble developing safe emotional attachments.

Strategies for co-parenting with a narcissist

You must approach co-parenting like a business partnership in order to effectively share custody with a narcissist: create clear guidelines, impose strict boundaries, and keep meticulous records of everything. In addition, you must learn how to be an emotionally detached parent, learn how to talk to narcissists and ignore them, and detach emotionally from your child.

Make a thorough parenting strategy.

The rules governing the division of parenting duties between co-parents are outlined in a parenting plan. Experts always advise having a parenting plan, and the majority of states mandate them as part of custody orders.

One of the most crucial things you can do to make co-parenting with your narcissistic ex manageable is to have a comprehensive, personalized plan that gives you the ability to set firm boundaries with them.

Specifically crafted to meet your child’s needs, your plan should shield both you and your child from the negative impacts of your ex’s narcissism. It ought to contain particular clauses and requirements for every facet of co-parenting, such as:

  • Guidelines for communication (between parents and between each parent and the child when they are alone)
    shared parenting principles, including rules about screen time, bedtimes, curfews, and punishment.
    Guidelines for making decisions regarding the education, health care, and religious upbringing of your child
    Procedures for resolving disputes when you can’t agree on shared parenting decisions
    Guidelines for allocating parenting costs that your child support order does not cover
    regulations prohibiting parents from disparaging one another in front of their children, using them to exchange information, or using them to learn more about one another
    Are there any additional guidelines to support a positive co-parenting dynamic and safeguard your child’s welfare?
    There are standard plans that you can or must use in many family courts, along with guidelines for what information to include. But in high-conflict situations, these templates are rarely comprehensive enough—particularly when one of the parents is a narcissist.

You must have a thorough plan to manage and prevent conflict with a narcissist because they will likely seize any opportunity to control and manipulate. If your court permits it, you may submit your own customized parenting plan in addition to adding special provisions to the standard plan. (You can easily complete both using Custody X Change’s parenting plan template.)

Parenting plans are only enforceable by courts if they are formally declared by a judge. Ask your court to make your supplemental provisions or custom parenting plan into a court order during the legal process (i.e., during a trial or settlement). In the absence of a court order, a parenting plan is merely an unofficial agreement that parents are expected to follow, which is unlikely for a narcissist to do.

Adhere to a thorough parenting timetable.

The physical custody arrangement—when the child will be with each parent—is explained in a parenting time schedule. It is also known as a visitation, residential, or time-sharing schedule and is frequently included in a parenting plan.

The rules of your local court and the custody laws in your state will determine how specific your schedule needs to be. Sometimes, family courts just mandate a parenting time division (such as a 50/50 split) and leave it up to the parents to work out a detailed schedule on their own. When you co-parent with a narcissist, you should avoid doing this because they will use any room for maneuvering to gain more control and manipulation over you and your child.

Rather, you ought to have a comprehensive parenting timetable that takes into account your child’s needs, specifies the beginning and ending times of each visit, and lays out ground rules for the times and locations of interactions. In the majority of states, courts will impose strict physical custody orders on both parents in the event of a high-conflict custody dispute or at the request of one parent. The other parent may request that the court enforce or amend the custody orders if the other parent doesn’t comply.

Plan to spend less time with the other parent when creating your custody schedule (either as part of a settlement or as a request in court). Less time spent interacting with your ex and fewer exchanges result from longer visits for each parent. For instance, think about scheduling four-day visits every other weekend rather than every weekend. You see your former partner every other week rather than every week, but the weekend parent spends the same amount of time with the child.

To find out how much time you and your partner spend with your child, you should also compute your scheduled parenting time. This is automatically computed with the Custody X Change app.

When your child is in school or with a caregiver who is not their parent, you can also record third-party time. You can see with greater accuracy how much time your child spends with each parent because this time is not included in the calculations.

Parenting time data is frequently needed for child support calculations, and it will also be necessary if you need to return to court to have your orders upheld or changed. You can track your actual parenting time and present the court reports as proof, for instance, if your ex frequently cancels visits or exceeds their allotted parenting time.

Establish strict limits on communication.

When co-parenting with a narcissist, you must set and adhere to strict boundaries regarding communication. Narcissists will use hostile and manipulative communication strategies to try to control you and keep you in their toxic orbit. It can be stopped by establishing guidelines and learning how to communicate with narcissists.

Establish guidelines in your parenting plan to safeguard you from unwelcome, needless, and unhealthy communication from your former partner. Declare that you will only talk to them about your child and co-parenting concerns, and calmly and quickly cut off any attempts to bring up forbidden subjects. Establish deadlines for responses and demand that they plan phone calls ahead of time.

Furthermore, avoid getting into disputes with them and resist their attempts to provoke you. Since narcissists, as you are aware, love attention, the best course of action is frequently to ignore them.

It’s important to remember that when co-parenting with a narcissist, experts advise against talking to them on the phone or in person. Not only is it more difficult to ignore them, but the tension can quickly turn into open conflict, frequently in front of the child, and there’s no record of what’s said.

Try to limit your communication with the other parent to text or email instead, and think about using a messaging app like Custody X Change that is specifically made for high-conflict co-parenting.

Before sending messages, it highlights aggressive language, allowing the sender to make changes. In the event that these messages are sent, the hostile language is noted explicitly in conversation logs, which, if required, can be provided to the court. To maintain structured and well-documented communication with your ex, you can also add attachments to conversations and arrange them according to topics.

Record everything.

Having already gone through the legal process of getting a divorce and determining child custody from a narcissist, you probably already know how important it is to keep meticulous records. Regretfully, the issuance of final orders does not mark the end of record-keeping. You never know when a narcissist will try to manipulate you further by modifying court orders or making up false allegations, so it’s critical to be ready with documentation of all co-parenting-related matters.

Keeping a parenting journal makes this enormous task more doable, even simple. Keep track of your child’s behavior patterns, take notes on your interactions with the other parent, electronically organize pictures and documents, and document instances where your child is impacted by the narcissistic behavior of the other parent.

To keep track of parenting costs and payments made to one another, use an expense tracker. Additionally, you can use it to ask the other parent for reimbursement for shared expenses, which keeps things businesslike and reduces needless communication.

Be the parent who is emotionally stable.

The emotional needs of their children are not given priority by a narcissistic parent. This implies that you should make it your mission to be your child’s safe haven, watching out for their wellbeing and sound emotional growth.

Give your kids the freedom to express their emotions without fear of criticism. Observe the emotional harm that the narcissistic behavior of the other parent causes to your child and devise plans to stop it or deal with it when it does.

Naturally, this presents difficulties because of the intricate psychological fallout from having a narcissistic parent. Experts advise mental health counseling for kids of narcissists because of this. Additionally, you might think about getting counseling for yourself, particularly if you exhibit signs of narcissistic abuse syndrome. Your ability to support your child will improve with the extent to which you are able to move past your relationship with a narcissist.

Think about coordinating your parenting.

You can co-parent with a narcissist more easily if you get professional help in the form of parenting coordination. A parenting coordinator is a specialist in child custody (typically a mental health specialist) who is hired by parents following custody orders or appointed by the court in cases involving high levels of conflict.

A parenting coordinator evaluates parents and makes recommendations to the judge regarding custody and parenting plan provisions during a court case. Following a case, coordinators help parents communicate and make decisions by ensuring that they adhere to the parenting time schedule. They occasionally even have the authority to decide when parents cannot agree.

When co-parenting is ineffective, consider parallel parenting.

If a narcissist is unwilling to cooperate or make concessions, co-parenting with them can be nearly impossible to manage, even with the best techniques and tools. If this describes your circumstances, you might want to think about parallel parenting. When you parent in parallel, you have very little contact with the other parent and you both raise your children independently of one an

Need a Family Lawyer in Scottsdale?

Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.  Proven trial lawyers in family court, you can trust the firm to represent you fully so you can get on with your life. Call today for your initial consultation. Our family lawyers can help with divorce litigation, collaborative divorcedivorce mediationchild custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

What Happens if the Non-Custodial Parent Misses Visitation?

What Happens if the Non-Custodial Parent Misses Visitation?

Many parents find child support and visitation confusing. It’s not just you who is curious about the exact moment and manner in which these two align. Parental awareness is necessary because, according to state law, the two issues are actually distinct. Recognize your parental rights whether you are the primary custodial parent or the non-custodial parent.

Why the Courts Consider Visitation and Child Support Separately

Child support and child custody are considered separate issues by courts. Regardless of their experience or level of competence as parents, parents are still obligated to pay child support. All children, regardless of the type of custody and/or visitation arrangements in place, are entitled to this financial support.

Protecting the child’s best interests is the foundation for both child custody decisions. While there are many considerations, regularity and safety are usually at the top of the list.

The opportunity for the children to have nearly as much contact with each parent as they did prior to the separation and/or divorce may also be prioritized by the courts, subject to the child custody regulations recognized by a particular state. Seldom is the failure to pay child support considered a justification for limiting the children’s time with the non-custodial parent.

In any case, if the parent who is required to pay child support is current on those arrears, the court may suggest generous visitation or even shared custody.

The Impact of Missed Appointments

Visits that are cancelled are another common source of annoyance. When the non-custodial parent doesn’t follow the visitation schedule, what is the parent meant to do? Should the custodial parent continue scheduling visitation hours and endure excruciating meltdowns and outbursts after failing to show up?

Unfortunately, the custodial parent has limited options if the non-custodial parent chooses not to follow a visitation schedule that was mandated by the court. They can make an effort to get in touch with the other parent and find out why they aren’t attending the scheduled visitations. Alternatively, they could go back to court with the non-parent and ask for a different visitation schedule.

Kids and Refusing to Attend Visitations

Admit it: When a child doesn’t want to see their parent, no one can (or should) force them to. However, dealing with a child’s refusal of visitation may result in legal ramifications. In the event that kids balk at going on a planned visit with their other parent, you should:

  • Talk to them about their reasons for not wanting to participate in the visit (if they are concerned for their safety, ask to speak with your attorney).
    Assure your kids that you want them to spend time with the other parent and that their parents love them.
    Explain the concept of visitation and the reasons it’s crucial for them to spend time with each of their parents.
    Discuss with the other parent whether it would be possible for your kids to take a vacation or have fewer visits in certain situations.

What Happens If the Parent with Custody Refuses to Permit Visitation?

As the parent with custodial rights, they must adhere to the visitation schedule (sometimes referred to as a parenting plan) set by the court. Even in cases where the non-custodial parent fails to pay child support, this remains valid. You must continue to permit the visits as scheduled even though you have the option to ask the court to enforce the child support order.

The custodial parent should contact their family attorney and the state child welfare agency if they are afraid that their child will suffer any harm in the near future, such as from suspected abuse or contempt.

Every situation is unique. Consult an experienced attorney or look through the resources available in your state for comprehensive information about visitation rights and child custody.

Need a Family Lawyer in Scottsdale?

Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.  Proven trial lawyers in family court, you can trust the firm to represent you fully so you can get on with your life. Call today for your initial consultation. Our family lawyers can help with divorce litigation, collaborative divorcedivorce mediationchild custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

What to Do About Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation In Arizona

When a child or children are in the mix during a break-up or a divorce, the communications of one parent as well as their actions may purposefully undermine the relationship the child or children has with the other parent to the extent parental relationships can be permanently damaged. As a result, courts are rapid in their actions to address such behaviors and acts when they are exposed. Parents need to understand these issues and should avoid all negative behaviors. Therefore, it is important to learn the indications in the behavior of a child or children when they have been placed in a position they are being alienated towards the other parent.

Read on to learn more about the aspects of parental alienation.

What Is Parental Alienation?

Both judges are evaluators of child custody will seek the parent whose actions are positive and promote the relationships between the child or children and both parents. it is vital a parent never appears to be in a mode or retaliation or be vindictive or use financial issues as a weapon in matters of child custody. Therefore, parental alienation happens when a parent is guilty of causing a child or children to be negatively influenced towards the other parent of the child or children. On occasions this behavior can be unintentional but if often intentional and it is worth remembering parental alienation is not only a weapon used by one gender. Parental alienation is not gender specific any either parent is equally able to indulge in this destructive pattern of behavior should they wish to do so.

Parental Alienation Examples

There are many ways a child or children can be manipulated when one parent carries out acts of parental alienation. The goal is normally to separate the emotional bond a parent has with the child or children. The parent can do this by making negative comments about the parent directly to the child or children or to third parties but by ensuring the child or children can hear what is being said. These comments can have a great influence on a child or children who if they hear negative comments on a regular basis, become more credible and believable to the young minds who hear it. In the end, the result is often the child or children sees the other parent in the manner the way the accusatory parent has presented the situation to them.

Additionally, other members of the family may also join the accusatory parent in making alienating comments and actions towards the other parent in front of the child or children. These do not have to be outrageous statements, but just small comments and actions can help to cement negative thoughts towards the other parent. Nonetheless, with alienating, it is more often than not that not just one act or statement is negative, but usually the result of many small comments made over a prolonged period of time.

Signs of Parental Alienation

As we have discussed it is seldom one single action represents parental alienation but a series of actions and words and thoughts that manipulate a child or children negatively impact a parents’ relationship with their child or children. Undoubtedly some tactics used in parental alienation are extremely harmful but never more so than when a parent accuses the other of criminal activity. Especially when they do this in front of a child or children. This is a matter that needs to be acted on immediately. Here are some signs to look for that your child or children may be the victim of parental alienation:

  • Is a parent creating scenarios where the child or children misses when it is your time for visitation?
  • Has the attitude of your child or children changed from one of being pleased to see you to one of being angry towards you?
  • Does your child or children no longer use a familiar, informal name for you?
  • Does your child or children show signs of being uncomfortable around you?
  • Does your child or children only give very brief, monosyllabic answers?
  • Does the other parent turn up unexpectedly, creating drama and tension when there is no need to do so?
  • Does the other parent severely question the child or children following your visitation?
  • Does the other parent show resentment when you discuss enjoyable times with your child or children?
  • Does the child know matters regarding the divorce beyond what they need to know at their age?
  • Does it appear your parenting time is being cut short, altered or canceled at short notice?

There are three types of parental alienation.

 

  • Mild parental alienation: The child avoids contacting the alienated parent, but has a good relationship with them when the alienator is not around.
  • Moderate parental alienation: The child strongly resists contact with the alienated parent and is resentful when they do spend time together.
  • Severe parental alienation: The child insists on not having contact with the alienated parent. They may hide or run away to avoid being around the parent. In these cases, the alienator is determined to ruin the other parent’s relationship with the child.

Signs of parental alienation

Five factors help identify PA.

 

  • The child actively avoids, resists or refuses a relationship with the nonpreferred parent.
  • The child and nonpreferred parent once had a positive relationship.
  • The nonpreferred parent displays no abusive, neglectful or bad parenting behaviors.
  • The child shows many of the behaviors associated with parental alienation (more below).
  • The preferred parent shows multiple alienating behaviors (more below).

Behaviors of a child affected by parental alienation

A child affected by parental alienation may show eight behaviors. It’s important to note that these can also occur without parental manipulation.

 

  • Unfair criticism of the alienated parent (known as a campaign of denigration)
  • Unjustified harsh feelings toward the alienated parent
  • Exclusively negative feelings toward the alienated parent and only good feelings toward the alienator (known as a lack of ambivalence)
  • Insistence that all of their negative feelings and criticisms are their own (called the independent thinker phenomenon)
  • Consistent support of the alienator
  • Repetition of language and false stories told by the alienator
  • Lack of guilt about their hatred or mistreatment of the alienated parent
  • Extension of their dislike of the alienated parent to the alienated parent’s relatives

Behaviors of an alienating parent

An alienator’s behaviors may include:

 

  • Sharing personal information with the child (e.g., the other parent’s infidelities)
  • Preventing the child from talking to or visiting the alienated parent
  • Planning activities that they know will interfere with the alienated parent’s visitation time
  • Disobeying the parenting plan or refusing to negotiate a plan with the other parent
  • Hiding important information from the other parent (e.g., the child’s report card or medical records)
  • Monitoring all contact between the child and the alienated parent

It has been suggested that parents with behavioral issues like narcissistic personality disorder are more likely to be alienators. Though many people assume it’s more common for a mother to use a child against a father, parental alienation against a mother can also occur.

What to do about parental alienation

If you suspect parental alienation, seek professional help. It’s best to be proactive because the more severe PA becomes, the harder it is to treat.

A mediator, therapist, family counselor or child psychologist could help you figure out whether alienation is occurring and come up with a plan to improve your relationship with your child.

More research is needed to find a safe and effective treatment for PA. Current responses depend on the level of alienation.

  • Mild parental alienation: A judge could order parents to allow one another to have a healthy relationship with the child.
  • Moderate parental alienation: A parenting coordinator could help to reduce conflict and improve communication. Both parents and the child could also go to counseling. None of this will be effective if the alienator refuses to take part and continues alienating the child.
  • Severe parental alienation: The alienator might lose custody and only have supervised visits, while the child might have to attend reconciliation therapy with the alienated parent. This treatment may have negative side effects.

Parental Alienation Laws in Arizona & Effect on Child Custody (Legal Decision Making)

Title 25’s legal decision-making laws were last modified a couple of years ago when the Arizona state legislature decided it will be the responsibility of the court to engage both parents in the raising of a child or children. In light of this, clearly parental alienation is recognized as being a cause of damage to a child or children. When one parent has an established history of using parental alienation, it is less than likely they will be able to come to an agreement regarding parenting time or putting the best interests of the child or children first. In some cases, not even the use of lawyers or mediators assist in getting to this goal.

In such circumstances, a judge will consider what is in the best interest of the child or children. To make that determination, the judge will review  Arizona Code section 25-403.

The court is going to examine what parent is more likely to allow frequent, meaningful and continued custody with the other parent. So parental alienation can definitely count against a parent in these circumstances. The court may decide the child or children should be spend additional time with the other parent who is not involved in the practice of alienation tactics. In some circumstances, this alienation crosses a line into custodial interference where one parent violates current custody orders. In Arizona, this is considered a felony offense with possible jail time.

Source: “Parental Alienation.” Stewart Law Group, https://www.arizonalawgroup.com/child-custody/parental-alienation/

Need a Family Lawyer in Scottsdale?

Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.  Proven trial lawyers in family court, you can trust the firm to represent you fully so you can get on with your life. Call today for your initial consultation. Our family lawyers can help with divorce litigation, collaborative divorcedivorce mediationchild custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

7 Ways To Lose Custody of Your Child: Moms and Dads
Written by Canterbury Law Group

7 Ways To Lose Custody of Your Child: Moms and Dads

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Parents often wonder how a mother can lose custody of her child. The truth is mothers can lose custody in the same way as fathers.

It’s a common misconception that family courts favor mothers, when in fact, no state has laws favoring mothers in custody decisions. Many states actually have laws that prohibit family court judges from considering either parent’s gender.

Custody cases in all states are decided based on the child’s best interests.

Contrary to popular belief then, a mother — just like a father — can lose custody if the court decides that it’s best for the child.

Bring calm to co‑parenting. Agree on a schedule and plan. Be prepared with everything documented.

Make My Schedule and Plan Now

It’s generally considered best for both parents to be involved in their child’s upbringing. When a parent loses custody, judges still typically order some limited parenting time for them, such as supervised visitation.

Family courts often set conditions to allow the restricted parent to eventually earn unrestricted or additional time with the child. For example, if a mother loses custody for drug abuse and has supervised visitation, the court may allow her to have unsupervised visits after completing addiction treatment and participating in drug testing.

How a mother or father can lose custody

In all states, the court’s primary concern is the child’s physical safety and caretaking needs. Family courts also ensure that children have stable homes and are secure with both parents.

If a mother or father poses a risk to their child’s safety or security, the other parent can ask the court to order sole physical custody to restrict the unsafe parent’s time with the child and sole legal custody to limit their role in making decisions about the child.

  1. Abusing or neglecting the child

If a parent physically abuses or neglects their child, courts typically award sole custody to the other parent.

Child abuse is defined as any non-accidental physical harm to a child caused by a parent or caregiver. It includes hitting, punching, whipping, burning, hair pulling, shoving, throwing, choking and any other action that causes physical injury. Physical discipline (e.g., spanking) is not considered abuse if it does not injure the child. (However, experts recommend non-physical discipline.)

Sexual abuse occurs when a parent or caregiver uses a child for sexual purposes or involves the child in sexual acts. It also occurs when an older or more powerful child uses a younger child for sexual acts. Parents who sexually abuse their child or knowingly put them at risk of sexual abuse typically lose custody and, often, parental rights.

Emotional abuse includes not offering affection, shaming the child, telling them they’re unwanted, yelling at them and keeping them isolated from others. Courts consider emotional and psychological abuse when determining custody, especially if a parent has mental health issues that negatively impact their parenting (e.g., if a parent is a narcissist).

Neglect is a form of abuse in which a parent fails to meet the child’s care needs. Physical neglect includes not caring for the child’s hygiene and not providing adequate shelter, food or clothing.

Leaving a child alone or with inadequate or dangerous caregivers is also considered neglect. Educational neglect occurs when a parent doesn’t enroll the child in school, allows them to miss a lot of school or ignores their special education needs. Medical neglect is failure to ensure the child receives necessary or recommended medical care.

  1. Using alcohol or drugs irresponsibly

If a parent’s alcohol or drug use impacts the child, or if a parent has untreated alcohol or drug addiction, courts will most likely restrict their parenting time to supervised visitation. Illegal drug use, even if the parent hasn’t been convicted of a drug crime, can also cause a parent to lose custody.

Additionally, many states have laws addressing child custody and convictions for driving under the influence (DUI). In Arizona, for example, the court can deny or restrict parenting time for a parent who has a DUI conviction within 12 months of the custody dispute.

If a parent who formerly abused alcohol or drugs has received treatment and is otherwise a safe parent, courts will most likely not restrict their custody, especially if they’ve been in recovery for a significant amount of time. The court may require drug testing or evidence of ongoing treatment.

How cannabis use impacts custody depends on the state’s laws and if the parent’s use affects the child. Like moderate and safe alcohol use, the court may not consider it a risk if the parent uses it legally, safely (e.g., no driving under the influence) and only when they’re not around the child.

However, if the parent uses cannabis illegally or endangers the child through their use, the court may limit their custody. It’s also important to remember that cannabis is still illegal under federal law, even in states that have legalized. Depending on the court and judge, even legal recreational use could be viewed as criminal activity that endangers the child.

  1. Abducting the child

Parent–child abduction — also called parental kidnapping and custodial interference — is a crime that occurs when a parent keeps the child from the other parent with the intent of interfering with that parent’s custodial rights.

When this happens, the parent who abducted the child often loses custody, especially if they took the child over state lines or to another country, or if they caused the child psychological or physical harm.

However, if the victim keeps the child away from the other parent in order to protect them self or the child from abuse, the court may not consider it a crime or hold it against them in custody decisions.

  1. Disobeying court orders

Custody orders — often issued in the form of a parenting plan and a parenting time schedule — are legal mandates that both parents must follow. Depending on the number and severity of the violations, disobeying court orders can result in loss of custody and even criminal charges.

For example, repeatedly being very late to drop off the child is not only disobeying court orders, it can be considered custodial interference or parental kidnapping, which are crimes.

Violations prevent effective co-parenting and can negatively impact the child, so courts take them seriously and often limit the custody of the violating parent.

Disobeying child support orders, however, is typically not grounds for losing custody. A parent who fails to pay child support may face civil or criminal charges, but courts do not take away their parenting time. Additionally, the other must still follow the court orders, including the parenting schedule.

  1. Interfering in the child’s relationship with the other parent

Family courts emphasize the importance of children having ongoing, healthy relationships with both parents. This is why joint custody is the most common arrangement. It’s also why a parent who tries to minimize the other parent’s role in the child’s life without a reasonable cause (e.g., protecting the child’s safety) may lose custody.

In addition to preventing the child from seeing the other parent, interfering with the child’s relationship with the other parent includes badmouthing them to or in front of the child, lying about them and discouraging the child from wanting to spend time with them.

Parental alienation is a severe form of interference in which a parent deliberately manipulates their child to turn against the other parent. There are currently no state laws that specifically address parental alienation, but many child custody experts consider it abuse. Family court judges often rule against the alienating parent and may order individual or family counseling.

  1. Lying to the court

Lying in court paperwork or to the judge can also impact custody. While lying to the court (perjury) is a crime, family courts rarely pursue charges against a parent for lying. Instead, judges consider the dishonesty evidence that the parent won’t support the child’s relationship with the other parent or co-parent effectively. In these situations, judges often rule in favor of the other parent.

In particular, courts do not look favorably on parents who lie about child abuse or domestic violence. Many states, including California, Florida and New York, have laws that empower judges to restrict custody for a parent who knowingly makes false abuse allegations.

  1. Generally putting the child at risk

Other behaviors and parenting issues that put the child’s physical and emotional well-being at risk can also cause a parent to lose custody.

Convictions for crimes or evidence of criminal activity, especially if the crimes are violent or if the victim was a child, typically cause a parent to lose custody.

When evaluating possible risks to children, courts also consider who lives in each parent’s home and who spends time around the child. For example, if a parent’s romantic partner has a criminal record or abuses drugs, judges often consider this a risk to the child and limit that parent’s custody.

Irresponsible parenting — e.g., having lax rules, encouraging reckless behavior, not monitoring media content — can also be used as evidence that a parent isn’t adequately caring for their child. If the irresponsible parent puts the child at significant physical, emotional or psychological risk, courts may limit their custody and order them to complete parenting classes.

Unemployment in and of itself will not cause a parent to lose custody. However, if a parent is unable to financially care for their child and issues of neglect arise, a judge may award custody to the more financially-stable parent. A parent who pays child support must still make payments if they lose their job, but they can ask the court to modify their child support order when they have an involuntary job loss.

Child Custody Evaluations

When the child’s safety is a concern, disputed cases typically include a custody evaluation, in which a court-ordered expert (often a mental health professional) evaluates parents’ ability to adequately care for their child.

The evaluator reviews the family’s records and interviews the parents. Often, they also interview the child and others who know the family. The evaluator writes a report for the judge that summarizes everything and makes custody recommendations. Judges don’t always order what the evaluator recommends, but they typically give the reports great weight.

Either parent can request an evaluation, and judges often order them of their own accord when they need more information. In many courts, custody evaluations are automatic if child abuse is alleged or suspected. Courts may also appoint a guardian ad litem to investigate the family and represent the child’s best interests in court.

Modifying orders

Either parent can ask the court to modify existing custody orders and request sole custody. If the child is in immediate physical danger, courts can issue an emergency order to protect them from the unsafe parent.

Remember that family courts don’t take what parents say at face value — they require proof (evidence) of every claim made in court paperwork and proceedings. In addition to reports from custody evaluators, common custody evidence includes photos, emails, text messages, social media posts, family calendars and official records (e.g., medical, school, criminal, child protective services).

Speak With Our Child Custody Attorneys In Scottsdale

Our child custody and guardianship attorneys in Phoenix and Scottsdale will advance your case with concern and personal attention and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions.

We are experienced family law attorneys and will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. We shall represent you fully, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

7 Ways To Lose Custody of Your Child: Moms and Dads
Written by Canterbury Law Group

How Domestic Violence Affects Child Custody in Arizona

In this article, domestic violence will be defined and its implications for child custody in Arizona will be discussed. After reading this article, if you still have any questions, seek guidance from a family law attorney.

Overview of Domestic Violence

Unless they have the scars and marks to prove it, victims of domestic violence frequently don’t think they are actually victims. They might not use the services offered to assist them. However, according to Arizonan law, a number of actions qualify as domestic violence, including:

Making family or household members fearful they will suffer immediate physical harm; sexually assaulting or seriously injuring a family or household member; attempting to sexually assault or seriously injure a family or household member; and engaging in a pattern of abusive behaviors severe enough to allow a court to issue a protective order for the victimized parent or child.
Physical assault, threats, harassment, intimidation, stalking, wrongful detention, trespassing, property damage, kidnapping, and secretly photographing and watching victims without their consent are just a few examples of behaviors that fall under the definition of domestic violence. Abuse can be verbal, written, telephonic, electronic (such as online), or personal.

The law focuses on protecting members of the family and household. They consist of:

Former and current spouses

People who currently are or previously were in a romantic or sexual relationship, people who currently are or previously were living together, people who have a child together, people who are related by blood or marriage, people who have children together, people who have children together, and people who have a child together.
What constitutes a romantic or sexual relationship is frequently questioned. Judges consider four factors in order to make their decision:

How the relationship is structured

the duration of the relationship, the frequency of the partners’ interactions, and the amount of time that has passed since the end of the relationship.
You can go to court and request a domestic abuse protection order if you’re a victim of domestic abuse. See this information from the Arizona Judicial Branch, which includes the forms you must complete, to find out how.

Several services are offered by Community Resources Arizona to domestic violence victims. The non-profit A New Leaf offers a thorough directory of businesses that provide direct services like shelter-based housing, counseling, and case management. Additional information and resources for victims are listed by the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, a non-profit organization.

The Arizona Department of Health Services has written a fact sheet with hotline numbers for those who have experienced abuse, and the Arizona Department of Economic Security has a Domestic Violence Program that can help victims.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached by victims by dialing 1-800-799-7233. It is accessible every day of the week, round-the-clock.

Domestic Violence and Child Care

Legal and physical custody are the two types. The location where a child resides and receives essential daily care, such as feeding and bathing, is known as physical custody. Legal concerns a parent’s authority to decide critically important matters for a child, such as their health and education.

To decide who should have custody of a child and what is in the child’s best interests, judges must weigh at least eleven different factors. Child Custody in Arizona: The Best Interests of the Child provides more details on the general criteria that courts use to decide these cases. Domestic violence is directly involved in two of the factors:

if there has ever been domestic violence or child abuse, and if either parent has ever been found guilty of reporting child abuse or neglect without having done so.
Evidence of domestic violence is considered to be against the child’s best interests by Arizona’s courts. As a result, it is less likely that a parent who has used domestic violence will be granted custody. In fact, parents cannot share joint legal custody if domestic violence has occurred.

Judges are required to give the victim’s and the child’s safety top priority in the case and to take the offender’s prior history of making threats against or harming other people into account. They must first determine whether it is more likely than not that abuse ever took place. In doing so, courts look at:

Decisions made by other courts

Reports from the police, the medical community, child protective services, domestic violence shelters, schools, and witness testimony.
A “rebuttable presumption” (a legal presumption) that awarding custody to the abuser is not in the child’s best interests must be applied by the court if it determines after reviewing the evidence that one parent used domestic violence against the other parent. The judge must consider all of the following elements before concluding that the offender has disproved that presumption:

whether or not the offender demonstrated that obtaining sole or shared custody is in the child’s best interests
whether the offender successfully completed court-ordered alcohol or drug abuse counseling, or, in situations where drugs are a problem, whether the perpetrator completed a batterer’s prevention program.

Whether the offender is no longer under a domestic violence protective order, whether the offender has committed additional acts of domestic violence against anyone else, and whether the offender successfully completed parenting classes that the court ordered in cases where the offender is on parole, probation, or community supervision.

Visitation Impact

Protecting the victimized parent or child from potential harm is the court’s top priority if the judge finds that domestic violence occurred. Until the abusive parent persuades the judge that parenting time won’t put the child in danger or stunt their emotional growth, they cannot be granted “parenting time” (Arizona’s term for visitation). Even if the court grants the request, it must still ensure the safety of the child and the other parent and may:

order that parenting time exchanges take place in a secure area (for instance, the lobby of a police station).
give a state agency the authority to supervise parenting time, with the provision that another family member or household member may supervise parenting time in certain circumstances.
order the abusive parent to refrain from using drugs or drinking alcohol either during parenting time or for the 24 hours prior to it. Establish any other requirements required to ensure everyone’s safety, such as requiring the abusive parent to pay a bond to ensure the child’s safe return, maintaining the privacy of the child’s and the other parent’s addresses, making the abusive parent pay any expenses related to parenting time, and so on.

Parental Rights Are Terminated

A relative, foster parent, doctor, licensed welfare agency, or the Arizona Department of Economic Security may file a petition asking the court to remove a parent’s parental rights in extremely serious situations where there is a pattern and history of child abuse. When parental rights are terminated, a parent loses all claim to the child’s physical and legal custody.

Speak With Our Guardianship Lawyers in Arizona

Contact Canterbury Law Group today if you need an experienced child custody lawyer or guardianship lawyer in Phoenix or Scottsdale, Arizona to help with your case. Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to achieve the best outcome for your situation. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711

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How Alcohol and Drug Use Affects Custody Decisions

Find out when parents may lose custody or visitation rights because of their substance abuse.

If you believe that your child’s other parent is abusing alcohol or drugs—or you’re the one being accused of substance abuse—you’ll want to know how that could affect custody and visitation. Moderate drinking usually doesn’t get in the way of a parent’s ability to take good care of a child. But a parent’s habitual, excessive drinking or other substance abuse can pose a danger to children. Learn how judges deal with these issues in custody cases, and how to get a change in custody or visitation because of substance abuse or recovery.

When Do Courts Get Involved in Child Custody?

Courts play a role in decisions about child custody and visitation (sometimes called parenting time) in various situations, including when:

  • parents are getting divorced
  • unmarried parents have a legal dispute about custody of their children
  • divorced or unmarried parents request a change in the current custody orders, or
  • child protective services or a similar agency files a petition with the juvenile court (in what’s usually called a “dependency” case) based on allegations of child abuse or neglect.

This article will focus on the role of substance abuse in custody disputes between parents in family courts, rather than dependency cases in juvenile court (which have their own procedures and rules).

Overview of Child Custody

The most important thing to understand about custody cases is all states require judges to make their decisions based on the children’s best interests. It’s also important to understand the difference between legal and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the parents’ authority to make important decisions about their children’s care and upbringing, such as medical care and education. Physical custody refers to where the children will live. Within each of those categories, one parent may have sole custody, or both parents may have joint custody.

Traditionally, one parent would have sole physical (and often legal) of the children after divorce, while the other parent would have visitation with the kids. These days, it’s more common for judges to award joint legal custody and at least some form of joint physical custody (often called shared parenting time). State laws and courts recognize that it’s usually in the best interests of children to have strong relationships with both parents after divorce, and for both parents to be involved in their children’s lives—unless there’s a reason that would be harmful to the kids.

If there’s convincing evidence that a parent has a habit of drinking excessively, driving under the influence, or using illegal drugs, the judge will almost certainly take that into account when deciding which parenting arrangements would be best for the children.

When Do Judges Consider Substance Abuse in Custody Decisions?

State laws typically spell out a long list of factors that judges must consider when they’re deciding on custody arrangements that would be in the children’s best interests. In some states, the list specifically includes consideration of a parent’s substance abuse. For example:

  • California law requires judges consider either parent’s “habitual or continual abuse” of alcohol or certain prescribed drugs, or the habitual or continual illegal use of certain drugs. And if a judge awards sole custody or unsupervised visitation to a parent despite allegations of substance abuse, the judge must explain the reasons for that decision. (Cal. Fam. Code § 3011 (2023).)
  • Arizona law requires judges to presume that it’s not in the child’s best interests for a parent with a recent history of substance abuse to have sole or joint legal decision-making (legal custody). The presumption applies when the judge has found that the parent has abused drugs or alcohol, or has been convicted of a drug offense or a DUI, within 12 months before a custody request was filed. But a judge may decide that the parent has overcome the legal presumption based on evidence such as negative drug tests for the previous five years. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 25-403.04 (2023).)

But even when laws on child custody don’t specifically mention substance abuse, states typically authorize judges to consider any circumstances that are relevant to the child’s best interests. Most judges would probably conclude that it’s not good for a child’s physical safety and emotional well-being to be in the care of a parent whose behavior and decision-making are affected by a substance abuse disorder.

So if there’s convincing evidence that a parent has a habit of drinking excessively, driving under the influence, or using illegal drugs, the judge will almost certainly take that into account when deciding which parenting arrangements would be best for the children. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the judge will strip that parent from any parenting time or decision-making authority. Instead, judges will usually try to find ways to protect the children while visiting with the substance-abusing parent (more on that below).

Can Parents Lose Custody for Drug Use or Alcoholism?

Not only may a parent’s substance abuse factor into initial custody decisions, but excessive drinking or drug use could also play a role after the divorce or other custody orders are in place. If a parent with sole or shared custody (or even just visitation rights) begins to show worrying signs of substance abuse that could endanger the child, the other parent may go back to court to request a custody modification.

The specific requirements vary from state to state. In general, however, if you want to change the current custody orders, you’ll have to show that:

  • there’s been a substantial change in circumstances, and
  • the modification you’re requesting will be in the child’s best interests.

If you suspect that your co-parent’s alcohol or drug use has changed significantly, or if you’ve only recently discovered substance abuse that was previously hidden, you’ll need evidence to support those suspicions (more on that below), as well as evidence of the potential harm to your child. If that evidence convinces the judge that a modification is warranted, the judge could change where the child lives, limit the substance-abusing parent’s time with the children, or place restrictions on visitation. A parent might also lose sole or shared legal custody, if the substance abuse is serious enough to impair that parent’s decision-making abilities.

Substance abuse may also lead to reports of child abuse or neglect. If a juvenile court removes a child from the parent’s custody in dependency proceedings, that parent will generally have a certain period of time to get treatment and take other actions (such as regular drug testing or alcohol monitoring) to convince the judge that it’s safe to return the child to that parent’s care. But if the judge finds that those “reunification” efforts have failed, the parent could not only lose custody—but could be stripped of all parental rights over the child.

Can You Lose Custody Because of a DUI?

If you’ve been convicted for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, that could be used against you as evidence of a substance abuse problem that might endanger your children. It’s not very likely that one simple DUI, on its own, would lead you to lose custody or visitation rights. But some aggravating factors could lead to that result, including when you:

  • had a child in the car while you driving under the influence
  • had a very high blood alcohol concentration (BAC), or
  • have had repeated DUI convictions.

Visitation Conditions for Parents With Substance Abuse Problems

Because of the recognition that children are usually better off when they have continuing relationships with both of their parents, judges very rarely cut off all contact between a parent and child just because of the parent’s substance abuse. Even if there’s convincing evidence that it’s potentially dangerous for the child to stay overnight with that parent, a judge will typically allow visitation with restrictions or conditions, such as:

  • supervised visitation, often with a social worker or other reliable monitor in the room at all times
  • a requirement that the parent participate in an appropriate type of treatment or rehabilitation, including AA or NA, and
  • regular drug testing or alcohol monitoring.

Often, these conditions will be for a certain period of time and may be lifted if the parent shows success at treatment and evidence of ongoing sobriety.

If you’ve lost custody or visitation rights because of substance abuse, successful rehab treatment could help you regain those rights in the long run.

How Does Drug or Alcohol Rehabilitation Affect Custody?

If you have custody of your children and decide to go into a residential treatment program, you’ll obviously have to arrange for the children’s care while you’re gone. You might be able to make temporary, informal arrangements, as long as you and your co parent can agree (and there isn’t an active court case dealing with custody). Otherwise, however, you run the risk of losing custody, at least temporarily.

That said, if you’ve lost custody or visitation rights because of substance abuse, successful rehab treatment could help you regain those rights in the long run. Just as your co-parent may ask a judge to change custody because of your alcoholism or drug use, you may also go back to court and request more parenting time based on evidence that you’re in stable recovery and are ready to take good care of your children.

Does Recreational Drug Use Affect Child Custody?

Because judges may consider any factors that they believe are relevant to the child’s best interests, they have a lot of leeway when deciding whether a parent’s recreational drug use should affect custody and parenting time. Even if a parent isn’t addicted, some judges may believe any use of illegal drugs is evidence that the parent is unfit—particularly if the parent is convicted of illegal drug possession.

But what about legal drugs? If you live in one of the states that have legalized recreational cannabis, could your casual use of marijuana count against you in a custody dispute? It depends, not only on the custody laws in your state but also on the judge and the particular circumstances in your case. For example, a judge is likely to conclude that you’ve been endangering your child if you:

  • leave cannabis gummies in a place where the child could find and eat them
  • expose the child to second-hand marijuana smoke, or
  • show up in your car, obviously high, to pick up your child for parenting time.

Legal medical cannabis use won’t usually affect custody rights as long as you have a documented medical need and you use it responsibly, in a way that doesn’t put your child in harm’s way.

How to Prove Substance Abuse in Custody Cases

If you want to limit your ex’s parenting time because of alcohol or drug abuse, you’ll need evidence to support your claims. This evidence could include:

  • records of run-ins with law enforcement, including convictions for disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, or illegal drug possession or use
  • testimony from witnesses who’ve observed the parent’s drinking problem or drug use
  • employment records showing negative work effects of substance abuse
  • medical records (when available, given patient privacy protections)
  • social media posts that reveal excessive drinking or drug use
  • repeated, incoherent texts or voicemails indicating that your coparent is often drunk or high
  • reports from custody evaluations on the effects of a parent’s drinking or drug use, and
  • results of drug tests (more below on when testing may be required).

When May Judges Require Drug Testing in Custody Cases?

Some states allow judges to order drug testing based on one parent’s accusation that the other parent is abusing drugs or alcohol. But in other states, you’ll need more than a bare accusation to force testing. For instance:

  • Oklahoma law allows judges to order blood, saliva, or urine testing in any custody or visitation case. The law doesn’t require any evidence of substance abuse before judges may require parents to undergo these tests. (43 Okla. Stat. § 110.2 (2023).)
  • In California, a judge may order anyone seeking custody or visitation to undergo the “least intrusive method” of alcohol or drug testing, but only if the judge has found (based on a preponderance of the evidence) that the parent has engaged in “habitual, frequent, or continual” use of alcohol or illegal drugs. However, the law makes clear that a positive test result, by itself, won’t be a reason to deny or take away that custody. (Cal. Fam. Code § 3041.5 (2023).)
  • In New York, as in many states, the law allows judges to order physical or mental examinations whenever there’s a dispute in a legal case about someone’s physical or mental condition. So a judge may order testing when, for instance, a parent has admitted past drug use but claims to be clean and sober now. However, New York courts have held that judges may not require a parent to submit to drug and alcohol testing “virtually at the whim” of the other parent. (N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 3121; Burgel v. Burgel, 141 A.D.2d 215 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. App. Div. 1988), Johnson v. Johnson, 303 A.D.2d 641 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. App. Div. 2003).)

Alcohol and Drug Testing to Keep or Regain Custody Rights

If you’re the parent who’s been accused of substance abuse in a custody dispute, you may voluntarily take a drug test to disprove those claims, even if a judge hasn’t required you to do so.

And if you’ve already lost custody or visitation rights because of your alcoholism or drug use, you may submit to regular alcohol monitoring or drug tests to show that you’ve been successful in recovery. In that situation, it’s usually up to the judge to decide how long you must be clean and sober before you can have unsupervised visitation or increased parenting time.

How Can Parenting Agreements Address Drug or Alcohol Use?

Whenever you have a custody dispute, you always have the option of reaching a settlement agreement, rather than going to trial and having a judge decide for you. If you have any concerns about your co-parent’s drinking or drug use, you may include provisions in your settlement agreement to address those concerns, such as a “sobriety clause” that requires both parents to refrain from using alcohol or recreational drugs 24 hours before and during parenting time. Once a judge has approved your agreement, it’s typically made part of an official court order. then, if the other parent violates any of the provisions, you may go back to court to enforce the order.

Getting Help With Custody Disputes Over Substance Abuse

Most parents are able to work out parenting agreements, either on their own or with the help of custody mediation. But you should speak with a lawyer if you’re concerned about your child’s safety due to your co-parent’s drinking or drug use—or if you’re the one at risk of losing custody or parenting time due to allegations of substance abuse. These disputes can be difficult, emotionally and legally. An experienced child custody lawyer can explain how the law in your state applies to your situation, and can help you gather the kind of evidence you’ll need to protect your children and your parental rights.

Source

https://www.divorcenet.com/resources/how-alcohol-and-drug-use-affects-custody-decisions.html

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

Speak With One Of Our Child Custody Attorneys In Scottsdale

Canterbury Law Group’s child custody  in Phoenix and Scottsdale will advance  your case with personal attention and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions.

We are experienced family law attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. Our firm will represent you fully, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

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Can a Custodial Parent Move a Child Out of State?

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Looking to learn about Arizona child custody laws? When parents divorce or separate, care for the child or children must continue. The court will decide a parenting plan concerning their welfare and health if the parents are unable to agree on a plan concerning the raising of the children. This frequently establishes which parent will have the role of primary caregiver and how much time they will spend with each of their parents.

In certain situations, relatives, unmarried parents or other persons who may or may not be directly related to the parents may petition the court for parenting time or custody. The court will always base their decision on the best interests of the child or children involved.

Learn how a parent’s move can affect custody and visitation, when custodial parents need permission before taking the child to another location, and how judges decide whether to allow a planned move when the parents can’t agree.

Court-ordered custody arrangements can work well for years, especially when both parents live close to each other. But what happens when a parent wants to move with the child to another state, another area in the same state, or even another country? These “move-away” cases are among the most difficult types of custody disputes, because they often involve a conflict between the custodial parent’s right to move freely and the right of both the other parent and the child to maintain their relationship.

Overview of Child Custody Orders

In order to understand the issues involved in move-away cases, it’s important to know some of the basics of child custody laws. When parents decide to divorce, they will need to make legal custody arrangements that meet their children’s best interests. Parents who were never married but are separating (or never lived together) may also seek custody orders.

Child custody arrangements include both legal and physical custody. In most states, it’s the default preference for parents to share joint legal custody—meaning they make the important decisions together about their child’s health, education, and welfare. Physical custody usually refers to where the child lives most of the time. But it’s also becoming more common for parents to share joint physical custody, so they can both spend a significant amount of time with their child.

If parents can’t agree on custody (often called a “parenting plan”), a judge will have to make these decisions for them. Whether the custody arrangements result from the parents’ agreement or a judge’s decision, the court will issue legal custody order that spells out exactly how the parents will divide custody rights and responsibilities.

Who Is the Primary Custodial Parent?

Even when parents share joint physical custody, one parent is typically designated as the primary custodial parent. In a typical joint custody situation, for example, the child lives with the primary custodial parent on school weeknights but spends weekends, some holidays, and at least part of school vacations with the other parent (who might be called the “noncustodial parent” even when that parent shares physical custody).

Changes to Joint Custody Orders When a Parent Moves

Parents may ask a judge to make changes in existing custody orders, but they usually must show that there has been a substantial change of circumstances to justify the modification. As with all custody-related decisions, the judge will decide whether the modification would be in the child’s best interests. The parents may agree with each other about new custody arrangements, but a judge must approve their agreement to make it part of a new order.

When the primary custodial parent plans to move with the child, the other parent may request a custody modification—for instance, to seek primary physical custody or to ask for a change in the visitation schedule. And sometimes, parents who don’t have primary custody—but share joint custody—might request a change in the existing parenting plan based on their own planned relocation (more below on that issue). The judge may consider the relocation as a substantial change of circumstances, especially if it will significantly affect one parent’s ability to maintain a meaningful relationship with the child (more below on what goes into the judge’s decisions in move-away cases).

When Custodial Parents Need Permission to Move With a Child

In many situations, custodial parents must get permission—from the other parent or a judge—before they are allowed to move with a child out of the state or a certain distance away from their current residence. Sometimes, these restrictions are in state law. Other times, they’re in the custody orders (typically part of a final divorce decree) or in temporary restraining orders issued during a divorce proceeding.

State Laws Restricting Relocations With Children

Some states have laws that require parents to give advance notice and get permission from the other parent or a judge before moving a child. Some of these laws apply only to moves out of state, while others also apply to moves of a certain distance within the state. For example:

  • In Minnesota, whenever the noncustodial parent has parenting time under the custody order, the custodial parent may not move the child’s residence to another state without a court order or the other parent’s consent. (Minn. Stat. § 518.175 (2022).)
  • In Nevada, parents with primary physical custody must get permission from the other parent or the court before relocating with the child outside of Nevada or somewhere in the state that’s far enough away to “substantially impair the ability of the other parent to maintain a meaningful relationship with the child.” (Nev. Rev. Stat. § 125C.006 (2022).)
  • In Florida, whenever parents want to move with their children at least 50 miles from their principal residence, they must get written consent from the other parent (or anyone entitled to time-sharing with the child). Without that consent, parents must file a court proceeding to seek permission from a judge. (Fla. Stat. § 61.13001 (2022).)
  • In Arizona, whenever parents have joint legal custody or shared parenting time, and both of them live in the state, a parent who wants to relocate the child—whether out of state or more than 100 miles within Arizona—must give the other parent at least 45 days’ advance notice. The nonmoving parent may then file a petition with the court to prevent the move. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 25-408 (2022).)

These state laws generally spell out the factors judges must consider when deciding whether to allow the relocation (more on that below).

Relocation Restrictions in Custody Orders or Agreements

Even in states where the laws don’t explicitly require permission before moving with a child, judges in some states may include similar restrictions in divorce judgments or custody orders.

Typically, when parents have signed a divorce settlement agreement—which includes their agreements on custody and coparenting arrangements—the agreement is made part of their divorce judgment. But when the agreement includes provisions on what will happen if the noncustodial parent moves with the child, those provisions won’t necessarily control the outcome of future legal proceedings if they violate state law—for instance, if the agreement calls for an automatic change in custody without requiring a judge to determine that the modification would be in the child’s best interests.

Temporary Restraining Orders During Divorce Proceedings

After you’ve filed for divorce, it’s common for the court to issue “temporary restraining orders” (TROs) that are meant to maintain the status quo in terms of both parents’ access to your child or children. Typically, these TROs prohibit either spouse from taking a child out of the state without the other parent’s permission.

Often, one or both of the spouses will request TROs. But in some states, standard TROs take effect automatically as soon as a spouse files divorce papers. In California, for example, one of the initial divorce forms (the summons) must include an automatic temporary restraining order (ATRO) that prohibits either spouse from removing their child out of the state—or even applying for a passport for the child—without the other parent’s advance, written consent or a court order. (Cal. Fam. Code § 2040 (2022).)

Parents could face serious consequences if they move a child in violation of a law or court order.

What If Custodial Parents Move a Child Without Getting Necessary Permission?

Parents could face serious consequences if they move a child in violation of a law or court order, including:

  • contempt orders, which could result in fines, jail time, or both
  • losing primary physical custody if the other parent requests a custody modification based on the move, or
  • criminal charges, such as for parental child abduction or kidnapping.

If you plan to move—or even travel—with your child, make sure you know whether you’ll need permission. Check your custody order (which may be part of the divorce judgment) for details about any requirements. And if your divorce case is still ongoing, make sure you carefully read all of the paperwork to see if it includes restrictions on moving or traveling with your child.

Criminal Charges for a Custodial Parent Who Took Her Child Out of State Without Permission

In an extraordinary relocation case, a California mother was charged with parental child abduction and kidnapping after she took her daughter with her to visit family in the Philippines while her divorce was ongoing. Her defense lawyer, Stacy Barrett (who’s now a Nolo editor), explained that the mother had temporary legal and physical custody while her divorce was ongoing. The father had only supervised visits with the girl after credible allegations that he’d been touching her inappropriately. But under the ATROs issued in all California divorces, neither parent was supposed to leave the state without court permission.

While the mother was gone, the father went to court and got permanent legal and physical custody of his daughter. The mother was arrested as soon as she returned to the U.S. Although the jury ultimately acquitted the mother, Barrett believes the case might have easily gone the other way. “My client could’ve been sentenced to 13 years in prison.”

Can Parents Agree to a Planned Relocation With Children?

If the noncustodial parent consents to a custodial parent’s move, both parents may also agree on a new custody arrangement that considers the new location and provides the noncustodial parent enough of time with the child. They’ll both need sign a written agreement (sometimes known as a stipulation).

Even when the parents agree to a custody modification, however, they’ll need to get a judge’s approval. If the agreement is in the child’s best interests, the judge will approve it and make it part of a new court order.

When parents can’t agree, they may hire a coparenting counselor or custody mediator to help them find a solution that works for both of them and the child. But if that doesn’t work, and state law or the existing custody order requires a judge’s permission for the planned moved, the moving parent will have to go to court and file legal paperwork (a “petition” or “motion”) asking the judge to grant the request to relocate.

How Do Judges Decide Whether to Allow a Custodial Parent to Relocate?

As with all custody disputes, judges must follow state law when deciding whether to allow a custodial parent to move with the children, or whether to grant the nonmoving parent’s request to modify the existing custody order. State laws on relocations and child custody vary a lot, so the exact circumstances that the judge must consider will depend on where you were divorced (or where your previous custody order was issued).

Generally speaking, judges will weigh the potential benefits and disadvantages of the move in terms of the child’s best interests. For example, a planned move might increase a child’s overall quality of life as a result of:

  • the custodial parent’s increased earnings from a new job or educational opportunity in the new location
  • closer proximity to the custodial parent’s extended family, who can help with child-care and support, or
  • the custodial parent’s new marriage, which could provide the child with the benefits of a two-parent family.

On the other side of the equation, the judge will consider possible negative effects of the planned move on the child’s well-being—especially reduced contact with the noncustodial parent.

Different states place more or less weight on the custodial parent’s right to move with a child. In some states, the law presumes that a custodial parent has the right to change a child’s residence unless the other parent provides evidence to convince a judge that the move would harm the child’s welfare. In other states, the parent who wants to move must prove that it would be in the child’s best interests. And still other states don’t tip the scales for or against the moving parent.

State laws also list specific factors that judges must consider when they’re deciding whether to allow a parent to move with a child or whether to grant the other parent’s request to change custody because of the move. Typically, these factors include:

  • the effect of the move on the child’s ability to continue to maintain a close, meaningful relationship with the other parent despite the distance, including whether the parents have the resources to afford long-distance visitation
  • whether the custodial parent has a good reason for needing to relocate or is simply trying to frustrate the other parent’s ability to have parenting time with the child
  • the noncustodial parent’s reasons for resisting the move—for instance, whether they’re genuinely concerned about the potential harm to the parent-child relationship or are simply hoping to get a reduction in child support
  • the child’s need for stability in other relationships, such as at school, with friends, and in religious groups, and
  • the child’s preference in the custody dispute, as long as the child is mature enough to have a reasonable opinion about the move.

If an alternating weekend or frequent visitation schedule is impossible after either parent’s move, judges will typically award the noncustodial parent extended school break, holiday, and summer vacation visits.

What Happens When a Noncustodial Parent Wants to Move?

Noncustodial parents usually don’t need to get approval for a move from the court or the child’s other parent unless they wish to relocate with the child.

But does a noncustodial parent give up visitation rights after relocating? In most cases, no. If it’s feasible to continue the current custody and visitation arrangements after the move, both parents will need to abide by the orders. However, the court doesn’t expect a custodial parent or a child to follow a custody order that no longer benefits the child or that burdens the family.

For example, suppose your custody order allows you parenting time (visitation) with your child every other weekend. If you relocate 45 minutes away, you can probably continue with that arrangement because it wouldn’t be disruptive or harmful to your child. However, if your planned relocation will be far enough away that it would be impossible or very difficult (or expensive) to continue the current arrangements for parenting time, you must act before moving or risk losing time with your child.

If you’re a noncustodial parent who’s planning to relocate, you should first speak with the custodial parent and try to work out a new, mutually beneficial arrangement for parenting time. Once you agree, you may submit your written agreement to the court for approval. As long as the agreement benefits the child’s best interest, the judge will generally approve it.

If the custodial parent won’t agree to change the current custody and visitation order, you’ll need to file a motion with the court to change the order. Ahead of the court hearing, you should prepare a detailed visitation schedule that addresses how you and the other parent will handle transportation expenses and remote communication (like regular video calls). The judge will evaluate the case, including the reasons for relocation, and create a new visitation agreement if that would serve the child’s best interests.

If an alternating weekend or frequent visitation schedule is impossible after either parent’s move, judges will typically award the noncustodial parent extended school break, holiday, and summer vacation visits.

Parents must understand that, until they agree (in writing) to a new arrangement or the court changes its orders, they must both comply with existing orders.

Can You Move Your Child Out of State When There’s No Custody Agreement or Order?

What if you don’t have an existing custody order (including a temporary order during a divorce)? Can you move with your child? And if your kid’s other parent wants to relocate with the child, can you do anything about it? The answers to those questions depend on the circumstances.

You’re generally free to move with your child if you aren’t married to the other parent, the child has been living with you, and neither parent has filed a custody proceeding. However, keep in mind that both parents (whether married or not) have parental rights over their children, with or without a court order. For example, that means if you’re a single mother and you move with your child, the father could file a legal proceeding to establish parentage (paternity) and seek custody or visitation—especially if he’s been seeing the child regularly and wants to keep that up.

You should also be aware of potential legal problems when you take or keep a child out of the country without the other parent’s consent. If your child has been living in the U.S., and you take the child to another country that is a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, the other parent may file a legal proceeding to get the child back. These “Hague Convention” cases often arise when marriages are in trouble and one parent takes the kids to stay with family in another country (or keeps them there beyond the time of a planned visit) while contemplating divorce. Learn more about international child custody and abduction laws.

Should I Hire an Attorney for a Move-Away Dispute?

If you and your child’s other parent can’t agree about a relocation on your own or in mediation, you’ll almost certainly need to hire an experienced family law attorney to help you through the legal process. Move-away cases are one of the most challenging and complex custody disputes. With so much at stake, you should get help from a professional who can represent your interests and protect your rights.

Source

https://www.divorcenet.com/states/nationwide/custodial_parent_removing_child

Speak With Our Child Custody Attorneys In Scottsdale

Our child custody and guardianship attorneys in Phoenix and Scottsdale will advance your case with concern and personal attention and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions.

We are experienced family law attorneys and will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. We shall represent you fully, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

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Physical Custody

There are various forms of custody. After a divorce or legal separation, a child’s living arrangements are referred to as physical custody. It’s crucial that both parents are aware of what these phrases represent and how their custody agreement may be used to impose obligations on them.

Depending on the situation, different agreements will be made for child custody and parental rights. Prior to a custody dispute, parents should be aware of the different types of custody.

The physical custody of a kid is described in general terms in the paragraphs that follow. In the broader context of custody disputes, it also analyzes what physical custody entails.

How Does Physical Custody Work?

The legal and practical obligation of a parent or guardian to give a kid a home is referred to as physical custody. It is frequently decided in family court as a component of a custody dispute. A custody agreement or court decree specifying the parameters of custody may be used for this.

The child’s everyday residence is referred to as having physical custody. It involves making choices on the child’s daily schedule and upbringing, including food, clothing, and bedtime. The court has the discretion to award sole physical custody to one parent. Physical custody may also be shared by both parents. Legal custody is distinct from physical custody.

Legal custody is the authority to make crucial choices regarding a child’s upbringing. Decisions about extracurricular activities, healthcare, and education may fall within this category. A single parent may also be given sole legal custody by the court. Joint legal custody is another option when both parents share custody.

The Child’s Best Interest Standard

The child’s best interests will ultimately take precedence when deciding who will have primary custody of your child. This is the fundamental principle when considering custody arrangements.

This criteria is used by the courts to decide what arrangement will best serve the needs and interests of the kid. The courts will take into account things like domestic violence and drug abuse. When deciding on legal and physical custody, they will also take into account each parent’s capacity to make important choices for the kid.

Schedules for custody and visitation will also be outlined in the parenting plan. The custody arrangement is used to calculate child support. Every child custody dispute is framed by the best interests of the kid criteria. It is utilized to make sure that the welfare of the child comes first.

Right to visitation

The majority of contemporary custody agreements favor joint custody between the parents. This holds true unless one parent is deemed “unfit.” A parent is referred to as “custodial” if they have primary physical custody. The “non-custodial” parent is the other parent. They might be given visitation (sometimes known as “parenting time”) rights.

Some states also provide grandparents certain visitation privileges.

Solitary Custody

But occasionally, the court will grant sole custody to one parent. A parent who is granted sole custody of a kid has the child’s sole physical and legal custody.

Only when the other parent is deemed unsuitable or incapable of raising the child does the court normally grant sole possession. Abuse, drug addiction, and criminal activity are a few examples. The court might provide the other parent some visitation if one parent had sole custody, but it would be far more restricted than in a shared legal/physical custody arrangement.

Do You Need Assistance With a Physical Custody Dispute? Get Legal Assistance Now

A decision about physical custody is usually problematic emotionally. An experienced lawyer will understand how to cooperate with the court to obtain the greatest result for your child. They may be able to offer you useful legal counsel relevant to your particular circumstance.

Find a family law attorney in your area who has experience resolving custody disputes by starting your search right away.

Speak With Our Guardianship Lawyers in Arizona

Contact Canterbury Law Group today if you need an experienced child custody lawyer or guardianship lawyer in Phoenix or Scottsdale, Arizona to help with your case. Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to achieve the best outcome for your situation. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711

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What Can and Cannot be Included in Prenuptial Agreements

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Before getting married, no one wants to consider getting a divorce. Prenuptial agreements, often known as premarital agreements or prenups, assist in establishing specific conditions if the marriage terminates.

For instance, in the event of a divorce, a person with a legacy family business may try to shield those assets from the opposing side.

A prenuptial agreement has several restrictions on what can be written in it. This article gives a general summary of what prenuptial agreements may and may not contain.

What May Be Covered by a Prenuptial Agreement

Prenuptial agreements frequently contain distinctions, safeguards, and clauses pertaining to money. The parts that follow in this article go into more information about several prenuptial agreement sample clauses.

Property division distinctions (marital vs. separate property)

What constitutes separate property and what constitutes marital property is governed by specific legislation in each state. Some states have “community property” rules, which frequently provide for equal asset distribution.

The court will divide all marital assets in accordance with state law upon separation brought about by death or divorce. You can utilize a prenuptial agreement to prevent a judge from deciding what happens to the property you acquired during your marriage.

Which assets ought to be treated as separate properties can be specified in the prenuptial agreement. This could be real estate you held before to the marriage or belongings from a previous marriage.

Other assets will be regarded as marital assets and divided by the court if they are obtained after the marriage is consummated.

In some states, you can choose whether you’ll receive alimony payments or not. Some states forbid doing this. When preparing the prenuptial agreement, make sure you are aware of the legal requirements in your state or consult a family law attorney.

Protections against the Debts of the Other Spouse

If there is no prenuptial agreement, creditors may seize marital assets even if only one spouse owes money. Limit your debt liability in a prenuptial contract to prevent this.

Arrangements for Children of Former Relationships

A prenuptial agreement might be used if you have children from a prior relationship and want to make sure they inherit any of your possessions.

Protections To Maintain Family Ownership

If you have a family artifact, family company, potential inheritance, or other item of property that you wish to maintain in your birth family, you can state it in your prenup.

Estate Plans’ Protections

Prenuptial agreements are just one step in making sure your estate is distributed according to your preferences. Keep in mind that additional papers, such as wills and living trusts, must be drafted and kept secure.

Descriptions of Spouses’ Responsibilities

There are several justifications for a prenuptial contract. The following list of items is typical in prenuptial agreements:

separate companies
retirement advantages
Income, claims, and deductions for submitting your tax returns
control of home expenses and bills
control of any joint bank accounts
Investment agreements for specific purchases or endeavors, such as a home or business
control over credit card payments and usage
investment contributions
Distribution of property to the survivor in the event of death, including life insurance
arranging for one of you to attend school.
Resolution of possible disputes through mediation or arbitration

What Prenuptial Agreements May Not Contain

What can and cannot be mentioned in prenuptial agreements is governed by state law. The following is a list of things that the majority of states prohibit in prenuptial agreements:

Dispositions Outlining Any Illegal Activity

You are not allowed to include any illegal provisions in your prenuptial agreement regardless of the state. By doing so, the entire prenuptial agreement or specific portions run the risk of being thrown out.

Making decisions about child support or custody

Child support and custody clauses are not permitted in prenuptial agreements. The determination of child support is ultimately up to the court. The “best interest of the child” standard is used by the court to decide child support.

Prenuptial agreements that include child support, custody, or visitation cannot be upheld by the court. This is due to the fact that it is against the law.

What is in the child’s best interests is decided by the court. They wouldn’t take away the child’s right to support or the chance to interact with a healthy parent.

Losses of Alimony Rights

This is the clause that judges most frequently strike down. Several states outright forbid this.

Some states frown upon it and place restrictions on your capacity to renounce your alimony rights. Alimony waivers are legal in some states. Make sure to research the laws of your particular state.

Divorce-Encouraging Provisions

Prenuptial agreements are carefully examined by judges to search for anything that provides a financial incentive for divorce. If a clause could be seen as encouraging divorce, the court will invalidate it.

Any clause detailing how property would be divided used to be seen by courts as favoring divorce. Judges pay close attention because society wants to avoid divorce.

Information Regarding Personal (And Not Financial) Issues

Personal preferences cannot be included in a prenup. This could include agreements over who would do what tasks, where to spend the holidays, whose name to use, child-rearing specifics, or how to interact with particular relatives.

Prenuptial agreements are made to handle problems with money. Any clause addressing subjects other than money will not be upheld.

When a contract mentions personal domestic issues, judges become uneasy. They frequently reject the document because they think it is pointless.

If you and your spouse want to reach an understanding on such issues, do so in a different document. Just be aware that a court would not be able to enforce this document.

Obtain legal guidance for prenuptial agreements

Prenuptial agreements are advantageous to both parties since they establish the parameters of a marriage before issues occur.

But before being signed, every prenup should be thoroughly reviewed by an attorney. Critical mistakes may render the entire agreement or a portion of it invalid.

To get legal counsel and peace of mind, contact a local family law attorney right now.

Prenuptial Agreement Pros

  • Prenuptial agreements serve the purpose of protecting children and grandchildren’s inheritance rights from a former marriage.
  • A premarital agreement can protect a professional or business practice so it does not become divided and your former spouse does not have involvement or control of the business should you divorce.
  • A premarital agreement can protect a spouse who is debt-free from assuming debt obligations the other party has.
  • A premarital agreement can ensure you will be fairly compensated should you be giving up a successful and lucrative career should the marriage not survive.
  • A premarital agreement can put in writing any responsibility and decision making sharing the parties agree too, prior to marriage as well as addressing financial aspects of the marriage.
  • The amount of spousal support one spouse will have to pay the other if the divorce can be decided in a premarital agreement.
  • The finances of older persons or persons of substantial wealth entering into their second or more marriage can be protected with a premarital agreement.

Prenuptial Agreement Cons

  • You may have to concede your right to inheritance from the estate of your spouse when they pass away. However, the law states you are entitled to a portion of the estate if your spouse has not made a provision for such in their will.
  • You may be entitled to a share of the increase in the value of a business your spouse owns if you have made a contribution such as taking care of the home or entertaining clients. However, in a premarital agreement, you may not be entitled to claim a share of that increased value. In many states, the law says the value increase is marital property considered to be divisible.
  • A lack of trust may result from commencing a relationship with a contract at the outset.
  • It is tough to see how issues in the future may be handled so keep in mind, seemingly simple compromises made in the romantic period before marriage may have a significant impact later on.
  • A spouse who does not earn a wage or earns only a low wage may not be able to keep the lifestyle they have become used too while in a marriage if the agreement has spousal support limits the spouse has an entitlement too.
  • Every relationship has its honeymoon stage where a spouse who is in love will not make wise financial decisions as they cannot see the relationship ever terminating. A prenuptial agreement helps with this.

Get Professional Legal Assistance To See If A Prenup Is Right For You

If you, or you and your future spouse are together thinking about a premarital agreement, it is vital to look at the pros and cons at the outset. The experiences of a family law attorney can be very helpful and it is paramount each partner consults a different attorney from different law firms, to make sure the rights and interests of each partner are represented.

Source:

“Pros and Cons: Prenuptial Agreements.” Findlaw, family.findlaw.com/marriage/pros-and-cons-premarital-agreements-prenuptials.html.

Contact Our Prenuptial Agreement Lawyers in Scottsdale

Consulting with a talented Scottsdale prenuptial agreement lawyer or family law attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in drafting and litigating premarital agreements will save you a great deal of grief and expense in the future. Contact Canterbury Law Group today.

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

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What Is Custodial Interference?

What Is Custodial Interference

What does Custodial Interference mean? In simple terms, when one parent attempts to create disruption to the custody rights of the other parent of the child or children, this is known as custodial interference.

Often a highly contentious issue, when custody orders are interfered with it can lead in some cases to consequences of a criminal nature. However, there are a very few situations where it may be legally permissible to temporarily interfere with the custodial rights of the other parent. The following are important facts you should be aware of regarding custodial interference and what can be done regarding it.

Types Of Custodial Interference

There are many ways custodial interference can happen. Here are some examples:

  • Making a visitation upon the child or children while the other parent is supposed to have custody of the child or children.
  • When the other parent has a planned and a scheduled visit, the refusal to release the child or children to the other parent.
  • Limiting the telephone or online contact the child or children has with the other parent.
  • Not returning the child or children on time for a planned exchange.
  • Using enticements to turn the child or children against the other parent.

However, in certain situations, custodial interference is not a violation of the law. For example:

  • When you are protecting a child or children from danger.
  • When previously made agreements disrupt custodial arrangements.
  • When outside events prevent a parent making a timely transfer of the child or children (bad weather being one example.)

What Can Be Done?

A parent can report to law enforcement and the courts any examples of custodial interference. Courts will often try to remedy the ongoing situation. Here are a few ways they try to achieve this:

  • Instituting revised and specific orders for visitation.
  • Instituting make up time for visitation purposes.
  • Family mediation or therapy.

Depending on the situation more severe intervention may be required – a parent may request greater relief. Examples include:

  • Third parties being present at supervised visits.
  • A neutral location being designated for the transfer of the child or children.
  • Reductions or loss of custody or visitation.
  • Fees and fines.

Many states consider custodial interference to be a felony or misdemeanor crime.

Source: “What Is Custodial Interference?” Findlaw, https://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2013/08/what-is-custodial-interference.html.

Speak With One Of Our Child Custody Attorneys In Scottsdale

Canterbury Law Group’s child custody lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will advance your case with personal attention and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions. We can help with legal guardianshipchild relocationfathers rightsgrandparents rights, and more. Call today for an initial consultation!

We are experienced family law attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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