A previous post on this blog talked about the importance of establishing a clear parenting plan that spells out which parent will have the children at what points over the major holidays. This post explained that doing this sort of careful planning can make the holiday season go smoothly for everyone.
As much as he may try, a dad may have a hard time convincing a court to award him either legal or physical custody, and he may be left with getting some parenting time with his child.
Many dads in the Phoenix area really want to be involved in the lives of their children and make a lot of efforts do so. Sometimes, the moms of these children sadly try to interfere with these efforts, which means that these men need to use the formal legal process to assert their fathers' rights.
Many residents of Phoenix, Arizona, are probably aware that a man can become the legal father of a child, and thus have the right to have a relationship with that child and a duty to support that child, by submitting to DNA testing. This type of testing is very accurate and can determine almost to a point of certainty whether a man is the father of a particular child.
Like other states, Arizona has laws protecting victims of domestic violence as well as those victim's children. Basically, although the default in Arizona is that parents should share legal custody of the child and should each get liberal parenting time, this default will not apply when a judge finds domestic violence has occurred or has been occurring regularly over the course of the couple's relationship. Therefore, it is important for fathers or mothers to recognize that, under the law, a court does not have to wait for a criminal conviction or have proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a parent committed an act of domestic violence.
Many couples in Phoenix, Arizona, who are not living together may decide to resolve their custody and visitation issues by agreement and submit an agreed parenting plan to the court. Because this parenting plan will become a binding court order once a judge approves it, it is important for fathers who want to have a relationship with their children to make sure it addresses all critical topics.
As this blog has discussed on previous occasions, once a man legally establishes paternity over a child, the man has the same legal rights to custody and parenting time as the mother of the child. The only question a court will ask is what is in the best interest of the child.
According to relatively recent statistics from the government, most single parents are female. Overall, a little over four out of five children who live in single parent homes are living with their mother, while only about 18 percent live with their fathers the majority of the time.
Previous posts here have talked about how a father in Phoenix, Arizona, who is not married to his child's mother can bypass much of the formal process of establishing paternity by signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity form. However, as those previous posts mentioned, the form itself, while it makes a man legally his child's father, confers no specific rights to child custody or parenting time. If it turns out that a father needs a court order in order to have the time to form a relationship with his children, then an additional step will be necessary.
There are many fathers in the Phoenix area who do not live with their children's mother, but who nonetheless want to have a meaningful relationship with their children. One important component to accomplishing this goal is to obtain a child custody order, either by agreeing with the child's mother or resolving the matter in court. Ideally, this order will give a father in Arizona liberal access to his children and the ability to make important decisions in that child's life. Without such an order, a father may not be able to have the time and influence in his child's life in order to form a meaningful relationship with the child.