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How To Avoid Discovery In Divorce

How To Avoid Discovery In Divorce

Discovery can be one of the toughest parts of a divorce process for all parties involved. Discovery refers to both spouses exchanging evidence and information in a phase used to determine a fair settlement. However, this part of the process can become contentious and expensive. Use these tips below to avoid discovery in a divorce.

What Is Discovery In Divorce?

Financial investigation is the next step. This portion of the case involves determination of the value of the marital estate or “discovery,” which includes depositions, subpoenas, interrogatories and review of financial documents by accounting experts. If the assets and debts are agreeable by both parties, they may choose to waive formal discovery.
However, if either party disagrees with their spouse’s estimate of value or the amount of debt distributed to each party, formal discovery will be necessary. Rigorous asset searches are often performed to find any hidden assets in non-disclosed accounts, safety deposit boxes, or overseas accounts.

How To Avoid Discovery In A Divorce

If you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse are hoping to avoid discovery, follow these steps.

1. Use An Experienced Mediator

If direct negotiation ends up being unsuccessful, try bringing in a neutral third-party mediator to facilitate conversations. Experienced divorce mediators can divide property and assets in a fair manner without going through the court system. Oftentimes, mediation will be much cheaper than litigation.

2. Full Transparency

Being completely transparent throughout the process will be very helpful in the end. Provide your attorney with all the necessary details about assets, incomes, expenses, debts, and property division.

3. Settle All Differences Amicably

In an ideal scenario, you and your spouse have attempted to settle any differences before the divorce process gets underway. Sharing tax returns, bank accounts, and other retirement accounts will go a long way. If the important topics can be agreed upon, you may not need to utilize discovery.

4. Hire An Experienced Collaborative Divorce Attorney

Each spouse will hire an attorney in a collaborative divorce setting. Both attorneys will then agree to settling the divorce out of court. They will openly share information in order to create proposals that work for both spouses. These attorneys cannot go to court if a settlement is not ultimately reached.

5. Seek A Default Divorce

If you and your spouse have been separated for a decent amount of time and kept finances separate, you may be eligible for a default divorce. To get a default divorce, your spouse merely needs to file a response to your divorce petition, which declares that they do not contest the divorce.

6. File For Uncontested Divorce

Both spouses will file a joint petition along with a separation agreement that details the division of assets, custody, and support. Once the judge approves the agreement, discovery will be avoided.

7. Ask For Protective Orders

If your spouse’s attorney is making the process difficult, your attorney can ask the court to limit their discovery requests. For instance, protective orders can prevent access to sensitive health records, which are deemed irrelevant to the divorce.

Source: “Sneaky Divorce Tactics: How To Avoid Discovery In Divorce.” Martine Law https://xmartinelaw.com/how-to-avoid-discovery-in-divorce/

Speak With Our Divorce 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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Parallel Parenting: Making a Plan and Getting Started

Parallel Parenting: Making a Plan and Getting Started

Parallel parenting is a co-parenting approach designed for high-conflict situations where parents have difficulty communicating and cooperating with each other. It allows parents to disengage from each other and focus solely on the needs of their children. Here are steps to create a parallel parenting plan and get started:

  1. Understand Parallel Parenting: Educate yourself about parallel parenting and its principles. Recognize that it’s a temporary solution for high-conflict situations and focuses on minimizing direct contact between parents while ensuring the children’s well-being.
  2. Develop a Parenting Plan: Create a detailed parenting plan that outlines the custody schedule, decision-making responsibilities, communication protocols, and guidelines for resolving disputes. Specify how you will handle holidays, vacations, school events, medical appointments, and other important matters.
  3. Minimize Direct Contact: Establish methods for communication that minimize direct contact between parents. Consider using communication tools such as email, text messaging, or co-parenting apps that allow for asynchronous communication and provide a record of interactions.
  4. Set Boundaries: Define clear boundaries and expectations for communication and interaction. Agree on topics that are off-limits for discussion and commit to respecting each other’s privacy and personal space.
  5. Focus on the Children: Keep the children’s best interests at the forefront of your decision-making. Prioritize their emotional well-being and strive to create a stable and nurturing environment for them.
  6. Respect Court Orders: Adhere to any court orders or legal agreements related to custody, visitation, and parenting responsibilities. Follow the terms outlined in the parenting plan and seek legal advice if modifications are necessary.
  7. Seek Support: Reach out to professionals, such as therapists, mediators, or family counselors, who specialize in high-conflict co-parenting situations. Consider joining support groups or seeking guidance from trusted friends and family members.
  8. Practice Self-Care: Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. Engage in activities that reduce stress and promote relaxation. Practice effective coping strategies and seek professional help if needed.
  9. Evaluate and Adjust: Regularly assess the effectiveness of the parallel parenting arrangement and make adjustments as needed. Be open to revisiting and modifying the parenting plan to address changing circumstances or concerns.
  10. Stay Committed: Commit to making parallel parenting work for the well-being of your children, even when faced with challenges or setbacks. Stay focused on creating a positive co-parenting environment that allows your children to thrive despite the conflict between parents.

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 Not To Do During a Custody Battle

What Not To Do During a Custody Battle

Knowing what not to do during a custody battle and what the judge will look for can help you prepare the best case possible. While some missteps like lying in court are obvious, you might not have considered some actions that can hurt your case.

Visualize your schedule. Get a written parenting plan. Calculate your parenting time.

Preparing For Court

Don’t lie in child custody court

What you say in court and the information you include on court forms must be true. Lying in court during a child custody case ruins your credibility.

The judge will look for the truth in each parent’s claims through custody evaluations, witness testimony and other evidence presented at trial. Lying in court during a child custody case could cause a parent to lose custody or be held responsible for paying the other parent’s legal fees.

Don’t refuse to participate in the case

Since court cases are often stressful and expensive, you might feel tempted to ignore the case altogether. Yet not taking part in a custody case could cause you to miss out on time with your child.

If you don’t answer the other parent’s filing, the court could issue a default judgment against you. This means the other parent would get everything they asked for without any input from you.

During your case, you’ll receive mailings that require a response, such as requests for documents and notices to appear in court. Ignoring these could lead to the dismissal of your case. Make sure you don’t leave the city or state for an extended period as these documents are typically sent to your last known address or workplace.

Don’t disrespect the other parent

One thing the judge will look for in a child custody case is whether a parent will encourage a relationship between their ex and the child. Disrespecting the other parent shows that you might not be capable of doing so.

Insults directed at your ex through social media, calls, texts and emails could all impact the verdict. You also shouldn’t make negative comments about your ex in front of others. What you say could come to light in court through witness testimony.

Don’t abuse alcohol or drugs

Substance abuse is a major mark against a parent in a custody battle. When you’re under the influence, you can’t be the parent your child needs — especially if you’re dependent on that substance to get through the day. Make responsible choices to show the court you’re fit to parent.

Don’t withhold your child

Withholding your child from the other parent is unique compared to other things not to do during a custody battle because it comes with a caveat: Keeping the child away from the other parent might be your only choice if the parent presents a clear danger.

When there aren’t any safety risks, denying the other parent access to the child will reflect poorly on you. Courts prefer to keep both parents involved in a child’s life and want to see that you can encourage a positive relationship between your child and your ex.

Don’t involve your child in the case

Your child may be the subject of the custody battle, but putting them in the middle will cause undue stress.

Spare them the details of the case, and turn the focus toward maintaining the routines the child is used to and spending quality time together. Distractions from what’s going on in the household like extracurriculars are particularly helpful in allowing some sense of normalcy.

Don’t bring new partners into your child’s life

Bringing a new partner into your child’s life is an often overlooked example of what not to do during a child custody battle. Your child will be in a fragile state during this time. A new partner could cause confusion and anger if your child assumes you’re trying to replace their other parent.

If you do have a new partner, don’t involve them in the case. Judges often frown upon parents who bring their partners to court because their presence could be a distraction. Outside of court, keep interactions between your partner and your ex to a minimum. Any confrontations that occur could help your ex’s case.

Don’t push for a trial without trying to compromise

Trial should be a last resort after all other attempts at a resolution have failed. Stay in charge of parenting decisions and jump-start your co-parenting relationship by negotiating a settlement with the other parent. If you find it difficult to resolve your differences with just the two of you, try an alternative dispute resolution method.

Don’t show up to court unprepared

Preparation is key in a custody battle. You’ll need to be ready to speak in front of the judge, propose a parenting plan and present solid evidence to back up your claims. If you have a lawyer, they will help you prepare.

If you represent yourself, review your state’s child custody laws and rules of evidence to avoid presenting evidence that the court cannot consider. For example, in some states, recording phone conversations without the other person’s permission is illegal. Illegally-obtained recordings hurt your credibility and can’t be used in court.

Don’t behave badly in the courtroom

Your behavior in the courtroom will have an impact on the final verdict. In a custody case, the judge will look at each parent’s actions in the courtroom as a reflection of their character.

Don’t talk out of turn or get into arguments with the other parent. Treat everyone in the courtroom and in the courthouse with respect.

Don’t disregard court orders

Temporary orders are often part of divorce and custody cases. These orders stay in effect until the court issues final orders.

If you have court orders for child support or visitation, make sure you follow them. Not doing so shows a lack of respect for the court and that you may not be capable of following the final custody order.

Also, don’t get into the habit of rescheduling time with your kids. Show up on time for pickups, and drop your child off as scheduled to show the court you can adhere to orders. Only stray from the order if absolutely necessary, and give the other parent proper notice.

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]

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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]

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

When Is a Bankruptcy Claim Contingent, Unliquidated, or Disputed?

The bankruptcy procedure requires you to categorize your debts or “claims” as contingent, unliquidated, or disputed. You’ll need to be familiar with these phrases in order to properly identify and categorize your debts on the various bankruptcy forms.

In a bankruptcy, You Must List All Debts or “Claims”

You describe your financial condition to the court, trustee, and creditors on your bankruptcy filings. Your financial information will be disclosed, along with your monthly budget, real estate and personal property holdings, debts or “claims” you owe, income, and recent real estate transactions.

When listing claims in your documentation, you must include the name, address, and amount owed to each creditor. Find out how to fill out bankruptcy forms.

Not Every Bankruptcy Debt Is Conditional, Unliquidated, or Contestable

Because the label is only necessary if it is unclear whether you owe the loan, the majority of debts won’t require a contingent, unliquidated, or contested label. There will almost always be no doubt that you owe the money. You won’t need to describe the claim as contingent, unliquidated, or contested if you don’t have a defense to use to avoid paying the debt.

Consider the scenario when you have a car loan that is past due. The claim would then be for the remaining sum. Other common responsibilities, like credit card debt, would follow the same rules.

Types of Creditor Claims in Bankruptcy: Secured, Unsecured & Priority explains additional claim classifications that you should be aware of.

When a Contingent, Unliquidated, or Disputed Debt Will Arise

Sometimes it’s difficult to determine how much money you owe a creditor. Each of the labels—contingent, unliquidated, and disputed—identifies a specific problem that must be fixed before the claim may be paid.

Maybe how much you owe will rely on what someone else does, or maybe it won’t. Alternatively, you and the creditor may differ on the amount you owe.

If there is an issue, you should note it when filing the claim on your bankruptcy papers under the relevant heading of contingent, unliquidated, or contested claim (the form provides checkboxes for these designations).

A contingent claim is what?

Payment of the claim is subject to a future occurrence that may or may not take place. For example, if you cosigned a secured loan (like a mortgage or auto loan), you aren’t liable for paying it until the other cosigner defaults. Your responsibility as a cosigner depends on the default.

An Unliquidated Debt Is What?

There are times when you owe money but are unsure of how much. Although the precise amount of the debt hasn’t been established, it might exist. Let’s take the example of a lawsuit you filed against someone for injuries you had in a car accident. Your attorney has accepted the case on a contingency basis; if you win, the attorney will receive a third of the recovery; if you lose, the attorney will receive nothing. The debt owed to the attorney is unpaid. The amount of the attorney’s fee won’t be known until the case is settled or won at trial.

A Disputed Debt Is What?

You will tick this box if there is a discrepancy between the amount you owe and what you owe, if anything at all. Consider a scenario in which the IRS has an involuntary tax lien on your property and claims that you owe them $10,000. On the other hand, you think you just owe $500. You should state that the claim is disputed and include the total amount of the lien rather than the amount you believe you owe (you can clarify how much you believe you owe in the notes).

In Bankruptcy, You Must List All Claims

For a variety of reasons, it’s typical for someone to desire to exclude a claim from the bankruptcy petition. You cannot succeed. All claims, including those you believe you owe and those that others think you owe, must be listed.

It’s ideal for you to do that. Even if it would typically be considered a dischargeable debt, if you don’t list a claim, it might not be eliminated or “discharged” in your situation.

Claims Payment in Bankruptcy

Following the payment of creditors, the following will take place:

Creditors will be notified by the bankruptcy trustee assigned to the case that it is a “asset case.”
In order to get a portion of the available funds, a creditor must submit a proof of claim form by a specific deadline.
The claims will be examined by the trustee, who will then pay them in accordance with bankruptcy law’s priority payment system.
But keep in mind that every circumstance is different. Consult with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer if you are unclear about what will happen to the claims in your bankruptcy case.

Custodial Parent Moving Out of State
Written by Canterbury Law Group

Preference for the ‘Primary Caregiver’

Physical custody of a child may be requested and granted to parents who are divorcing. In a perfect world, the parents would resolve their differences out of court. However, disputes over child custody and divorce are frequently complicated. They can be challenging for the pair to resolve independently. The duty of determining the best custody arrangement for the child may fall to the court.

When deciding how to manage child custody in a divorce, the court must take a number of considerations into account. Courts are becoming less inclined to support the child’s “primary caregiver.” Instead, they prioritize the “best interests of the child.” This norm frequently promotes an equal level of parental involvement in the child’s life. Some states, like Kentucky, have even enacted legislation that codifies the 50/50 custody arrangement.

This article provides a summary of the criteria the court considers when deciding on a child custody arrangement.

‘Child’s Best Interest’ Standard

Most governments prioritize the “best interests of the child” in custody disputes. This standard takes a holistic approach to the child in order to safeguard their general well-being. The majority of states now hold the opinion that it is best for both parents to play a significant role in their children’s lives. The court does not automatically favor one parent over the other when using this criteria. However, the court may decide that one parent will have less than 50/50 custody if that parent engages in destructive activities that injure the kid.

What is in the child’s best interests will be determined by the court after considering a number of various considerations. To determine custody and issue a custody order, the court will take into account the following factors:

  • Age of the child and the desires or preferences of the child (if they are old enough)
    Relationship of either parent to the child
    The state of mind and body of the parents
    The child’s and parents’ preferred religion
    Maintaining a stable home environment is necessary.
    Assistance and chances for interaction with either parent’s extended family
    Relationships and interactions with other family members
    Adaptation to the community and school
    Too strict punishment from parents, emotional abuse, or domestic violence
    Evidence of drug, alcohol, or sexual abuse by your parents

The family court judge may grant single custody to one parent if the court decides that shared custody is not the best option for the child. This parent will likely be given primary physical custody of the child and may be deemed by the court to be the child’s primary caregiver. Additionally, they may be granted legal possession of the child. In order to provide for the kid financially, the judge may require the noncustodial parent to pay child support.

The ‘Primary Caregiver’ Doctrine:

The “primary caregiver” notion is becoming less prevalent in court decisions. According to this idea, judges would favor the parent who took care of the children the most of the time. The following are some of the criteria used to identify the primary caregiver:

  • Grooming, dressing, and bathing
    Organizing and making meals
    Obligations for laundry and clothing purchases
    Health care policies
    Encouraging involvement in extracurricular activities
    Teaching reading, writing, and math concepts and providing homework assistance
    conversing with educators and going to open houses
    Together with the youngster, plan and partake in leisure activities.
    The court may take these things into account. But today’s courts place more weight on other considerations (including what is in the best interests of the child). View a list of state custody summaries to find out how your state handles child custody.

In fact, since contemporary families embrace shared parenting, courts all over America have shifted toward equal 50/50 parenting. More and more courts are coming to the conclusion that giving the kids time with both parents is in their best interests.

Protect Your Child’s Interests With the Assistance of an Attorney

The custody of the child is one area where there is frequently disagreement, even in amicable separations. In order to decide who gets custody, the court will consider a number of issues. The court is, however, ceasing to take the primary caregiver into consideration. The best interests of the kid are instead the focus of the court.

You can get assistance from a skilled family law attorney in your child custody dispute. They can help you by providing insightful legal counsel and taking child custody laws into consideration. If you are a noncustodial parent, they can aid in advocating for your parenting time or visitation rights. Additionally, they can aid in your representation in custody disputes before the family court.

Speak to a family law professional about your custody dispute right away. Many law firms provide free initial consultations.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Sole Custody

When a divorce involves children, Canterbury Law Group fights to protect their future and well-being both emotionally and financially.

Our Scottsdale divorce lawyers work diligently to ensure your children remain a priority throughout and after the divorce, and strive to remedy sensitive issues including custody arrangements and parenting plans. Our primary focus is to reduce the possible future damage divorce can have on children and relationships.

We often see parents who hope to win sole child custody and “take the kids”. However, it is important to realize that the court’s priority is the best interests of the child, which frequently mandates a ruling of joint custody. Many parents go into a child custody hearing with the intention of seeking sole custody. For some parents, this is because they believe that the other parent is “unfit” to raise their child. Any parent hoping to be awarded sole custody should realize that there is a higher burden of proof for the parent seeking sole custody. You will have to literally prove in a court of law that the other parent is an unfit parent based on substance abuse, criminal history or acts of domestic violence.

To award sole custody, the courts have to establish one parent as the “better parent,” which can be difficult to do, particularly if both parents have been involved up until this point. In addition, most judges are reluctant to prevent either parent from having a relationship with their child because the implication is that both parents, together, are best able to care for a child. As a result, any parent seeking sole custody has to prove that he or she is best able to care for a child, with or without the assistance of the other parent.

In addition, from a judge’s standpoint, parents should not be trashing one another during a child custody hearing. Instead, the parent seeking sole custody should focus on proving that he or she is the better parent without attacking his or her counterpart. When seeking sole custody, one should focus on the physical and psychological well-being of the child. Physical well-being includes your child’s routine, sleeping habits, eating schedule and activities. Judges tend to notice parents who encourage a healthy lifestyle. The factors of psychological well-being may include making sure that the child has access to liberal visitation with the other parent. Judges tend to favor parents who openly support the child’s the ongoing relationship with the other parent. Whether hoping for sole custody or joint custody, the legal team at Canterbury Law Group in Scottsdale can effectively represent you. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Joint Custody

When parents divorce or separate, they come across new legal jargon like “joint custody.” But what does that actually mean in a legal and practical sense?

In contrast to solo custody, where one parent has sole legal custody of their kid, joint custody involves both parents sharing these rights.

Depending on which parent has the child’s legal custody, either joint custody or solo custody may apply. Parents who share custody have equal say over important life choices for their children. Parents do not share these rights in single custody cases.

Joint custody arrangements and legal custody

It is crucial to mention legal custody in any conversation about child custody agreements. When a parent has legal custody, they are able to make important choices that will effect their child’s future. Major choices are frequently made in relation to extracurricular activities, health care, extracurricular schools, and religious instruction. However, other facets of your child’s life might also be considered to be such. When trying to ascertain the areas of your child’s life over which you possess decision-making authority in a joint custody arrangement, it is crucial to verify with your attorney regarding what technically qualifies as “major.”

Parents who share custody have an equal say in such important choices. You risk being found in contempt of court if you try to stop the other parent from taking part in this decision-making. Any custody agreement is joint only if there is an equal division of the legal authority to make such significant choices.

Every state has its own laws on the matter, and joint custody can take many different forms.

Official Language for Spending Time with Children

In the majority of states, time spent with your child when you share custody of them is formally known as “timesharing,” “parenting time,” or “visitation.” While many may refer to such a situation as having “joint physical custody,” the term is not legally recognized to describe features of visitation in custody situations where joint legal responsibility for important life decisions is allocated.

One Standard Arrangement for Custody
One popular form of joint custody is one in which both parents are entitled to an equal amount of time with their child while also sharing the responsibility for all significant life decisions for that child. In these arrangements, the child will live with each parent for a certain amount of time, and the parents will work together to make choices regarding the child’s welfare and upbringing in a manner akin to when they were married (legal custody).

Example: Mother and Father agree to jointly decide on all significant matters pertaining to the welfare and upbringing of the child (legal custody) and set up a timetable where the child spends one week at a time with each parent.

Additional Types of Joint Custody

There are further joint custody situations that parents can come upon. One involves equal physical contact with the child but unequal legal custody. This could imply that the child will only live with one parent while both parents agree to work together to make parenting decisions.

Example: Mother and Father agree to jointly resolve all significant matters pertaining to the welfare and raising of the child (legal custody), however the child will reside with Mother, with the Father being granted visitation rights. A parent who has visitation rights is allowed to spend a specific amount of time with their child.

There are several forms of joint custody. For instance, even though the child spends time with both parents on a rotating basis, one parent can be given the entire authority to decide on the child’s educational options.

Get Legal Assistance from a Professional in Your Child Custody Dispute

It can be advantageous to have a knowledgeable attorney defending and guiding you in a custody dispute. Whether you want shared custody or some other arrangement, a child custody lawyer can help you get the best outcome for you and your child. Get a jump start right now by getting in touch with a local child custody lawyer.

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