One of the most important factors that an Arizona court will consider when it is creating a child custody order is how that order should be crafted to serve the best interests of the child subject to its terms. In this respect, child custody orders and arrangements are highly case-specific, as an arrangement that may serve one child’s needs may not be proper for the needs of another child. Several factors, however, are generally considered dangerous to the interests of a child, and if present in the life of a custodial parent, may result in that parent’s loss of rights to custody.
If a parent has a history of or is found to have committed violence against others or her children, that parent may lose her right to custody. Additionally, parents who have not successfully overcome substance abuse problems, including but not limited to drug or alcohol abuse, may be found to be unfit for the role of a child’s primary custodian. Histories of criminal activity or being incarcerated are also both factors that can lead to a parent losing her rights to her children. I
n short, if a dad does not currently have custody of his children, one of his rights as a father is to insist on the other parent providing a safe and secure home for them. Mothers are often given physical custody of their kids during separations and divorces; the rights of a father, however, are preserved and may be asserted when custody arrangements require modifications.
Overcoming a child custody modification due to claims of unfit parenting can be challenging. Building a successful case can depend on collecting the right evidence and information to factually support the claims of the parent requesting the change. Family law attorneys are well-suited to work with individuals in just these situations to help them assert their custodial rights and help support the best interests of their children.