Child Custody Rights Between Unmarried Parents

October 5, 2010 by Maricopa County Court  
Filed under Child Custody

By Scott David Stewart -

While unmarried parents do have rights, they are different when compared to those of married or even divorced parents, and when it comes to child custody, it’s important to understand the similarities as well as differences concerning the rights of unmarried parents.

If paternity has not been established – either by the father acknowledging the fact or via a court ruling, usually obtained when child support is sought – then the unmarried father has no legal custody or visitation rights. So, to be able to exercise your custody rights, you must establish paternity.

In most cases when parents are not married, the father does have a meaningful relationship with his child. However, if he is not living with the mother, he is usually at her mercy when it comes to visitation. If she is remarried or living with another man, this could further complicate the relationship. In fact, the mother could move out of state and take the child with her if an unmarried father has not legally obtained visitation or custody rights in family court.

There have been cases where the mother has relocated with the child to another state without the birth father’s consent. If this happens, usually emergency measures have to be taken, involving a court order to compel the mother to return with the child in a specified period of time.

If you are unmarried and want to have regular access to your child, you should obtain a court-ordered parenting schedule that assures both parents of regularly scheduled visitation time. In addition, the child benefits more from a regular schedule that the parents have worked out between themselves and that has been sanctioned by the court. If this is not done, an unmarried father could remain dependent upon the mother’s goodwill to dictate his relationship with his child.

If paternity has been established and an unmarried father is paying child support, it is still necessary to obtain a court order for parenting time. An unmarried father can even seek primary custody of his child if he believes he has a good case and it would be in the child’s best interest to remove him or her from the mother’s home. The issues that the court must consider in child custody or visitation disputes between unmarried parents are essentially the same as those applied in Arizona divorce cases.

The quantity of parenting time an unmarried father has can also affect the amount of child support he has to pay. And while someone should not request more parenting time in an effort to reduce child support, the amount of parenting time may have a direct bearing on an increase or decrease in child support obligations.

A former Deputy County Attorney for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in Arizona, Scott David Stewart is a Phoenix divorce lawyer and founder of Law Offices of Scott David Stewart, a Maricopa County family law firm with practice areas in divorce, adoption, child support, custody and visitation, juvenile law and domestic violence. For more information, visit

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Child Custody Rules for Fathers

September 29, 2010 by Maricopa County Court  
Filed under Child Custody, Family Court

By David Pisarra -

All too often a new mother wont allow a new father to take his child. There are all sorts of claims about his parenting abilities, and she has “grave concerns” and wants “supervised visitation” yet no one ever questions her abilities.

We see this type of controlling behavior is all too often in our practice, and it is a detriment to the father/child bonding. I understand that newborns are vulnerable but that is no excuse in this day and age for a father to be denied solo parenting time. Frequently the mom claims that the father is not a good parent, or too immature, or too uneducated on how to provide for a newborn. I think those are weak arguments at best and disingenuous at worst.

If a man is old enough to father a child, and to be required to pay child support, then he should be old enough to take up the mantel of parenting. Considering that a man has no choice in the matter once conception has occurred, it is then only fair that he should be entitled to the benefits of parenting, if he has to bear the burden of responsibilities.

Today, as it stands, fathers who want to obtain, or increase, their visitation and custody orders need to keep in mind the following: Proximity, Paperwork and Persistence. They can make or break your chances of getting the orders you want, issued by the judge.

Most fathers start out a custody case at a disadvantage. When dad moves out, the children are left with mom, and that becomes the way the court is inclined to keep the situation. The moment that dad moves out of the family home, is the moment that mom gains an advantage in child custody hearings. Here’s why, the courts don’t want to upset the children’s living environment. They focus on keeping the child stable, and that means in their historical home. So how then does a man recover from the mistake of moving out of the house? He must show to the court that he can effectively parent the child, with as little disruption to the child’s routine as possible.


This means how far or close dad lives to the child’s home and school. This is a major factor in increasing, or acquiring, custody and visitation. The closer dad is to the home and school, the more easily he can be present for the child, and the courts give this great weight. If the choice is for a child to be in a car for five minutes getting from mom’s home to school or a 25 minute drive from dad’s home, the court is going to prefer mom’s home. It is also more likely that the child’s friends and social network are close to the school they attend, which is a factor for the court.


Cases are won or lost on documentation. Dads should keep a Calendar or a diary of all the time that they are with their child. In any contested case, mom has something that she will use to show the court how little time dad spends with the kids. A simple calendar which shows the days that dad took his child, and what they did on those days can make all the difference for a change in custody. If dad keeps the receipts for what he did with his child, it will allow his lawyer to prove that he took the child to see the movie Cars on a day when mom says he didn’t visit. This is a crucial credibility issue, and one that with a little bit of work by dad, can yield big gains. The court will see that dad is truthful, and he’s come a long way towards winning the credibility wars, and that can lead to more time with his child.


The biggest factor that effects whether or not a dad will win more visitation or even equal custody, is his ability to come back, time and time again. The successful dad in family court, is the dad who never gave up, and was willing to do whatever it takes, no matter how difficult it was, or how long it took, to prove to the court that he wants and is capable of being a loving, attentive and present father. The successful dad who wants to increase his custody and visitation, will live close to his child, keep good records, and never give up when dealt a bad hand.

David Pisarra is an author and attorney who specializes in the five southern California counties of Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Riverside and San Diego. His practice is focused on the needs of Fathers and Husbands in a family court system that is hostile to the rights of men.

His website is and his blog is

He is a regular contributor to the Santa Monica Daily Press where his column, “What’s the Point?” appears weekly, tackling both local and international issues of interest. He is a regular contributor to, and

He has several books published, “A Man’s Guide To Divorce Strategy”, “A Man’s Guide To Child Custody” and “A Man’s Guide to Domestic Violence”.

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Child Custody Lawyers – The Facts

September 21, 2010 by Maricopa County Court  
Filed under Child Custody, Family Court

By Muhammad Suhail -

Child custody lawyers are solicitors who specialize in dealing with child custody cases. In our society, there are lots of cases nowadays where couples separate and this creates serious problems for their children. Majority of the couples tend to mount a legal challenge in order to secure the right to keep their child with them. Post divorce, it is the responsibility of the judge to decide which parent would take care of the child, the best, and child custody lawyers fight for their respective clients negotiating with the parents and the judge on the best route forward.

As far as law dictates, the child can either stay with one parent or can stay with both at certain times. In various child custody cases where the divorce has been amicable, both the parents can agree on the parameters of child custody. But, in certain cases where a dispute arises on the custody of the child both, the parties then hire child custody lawyers in order to press their case in a court.

A lawyer would help you make your case against the other party on how you can be a better parent for the child. The lawyer would draw up all the possible options for you to hold on to the custody of your child. Some of these options would be of money and finance of raising a child, a judge would want to know whether you have the required money in order to support the child. Also, do you have the time to raise the child and if you can give the child your complete attention. The lawyer would also help both the parents settle the visiting times if one parent is given the right to hold the child. Normally, the child is entrusted to the parent who can fully support the child both financially and emotionally. It is also recommended to settle the cases out of court as court proceedings can be challenging not only for the parent but also for the child.

Finding a good and experienced child custody lawyer is not that difficult as there are various options for you to search. First and foremost, you should search for a lawyer among your inner friends and family circle as you wouldn’t want personal things like marriage and divorce to be highlighted. If those connections don’t help, then you can find various specialist lawyers on the internet. It is also recommended to contact the state high court bar association as they can help you by assigning a lawyer for your case. After the search is complete, you must set up an initial meeting with the lawyer of your choice. It is better to go through with all the details regarding your case with your lawyer. Don’t be afraid to reveal details of your relationship and other things as concealing minute details might hurt your case. Decide on a rate for the case with your lawyer and then get involved in preparing for the case.

Child custody lawyers are important when it comes to custody battles after a divorce. Finding a lawyer can be difficult for some. To find expert lawyers and know how to win child custody, visit ObtainCustody.

Article Source:—The-Facts&id=4977828

Divorce, Child Custody, and Family Law – What Not to Do in Your Family Law Case

September 20, 2010 by Maricopa County Court  
Filed under Child Custody, Family Court

By David Marquardt -

At the end of a divorce or child custody case, there aren’t any “winners” or “losers” in the traditional sense. But often one person walks away feeling as though they attained the better outcome. Many times this outcome is the product of some mistake that the other party made.

As a family law attorney, I’ve seen some hostile cases and I’ve seen people do some cruel things. Sometimes these actions are physically injurious but, more often than not, they are mentally damaging. In the end, however, they almost always come back to haunt that person. Consequently, if you are involved in a divorce case or a child custody case, don’t do any of the following if you want to attain your desired result:

1) Denigrate or abuse your spouse.

Nothing makes someone look worse in a family law case than someone who is cruel to their spouse. No, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are “at fault” under the law, at least not with respect to grounds for divorce. But if there is one thing to take out of this article, it is that the law isn’t the only factor in the outcome of your case. The State has an interest in protecting marriage as a promoter of family values, so if there is someone to blame for the breakdown of the marriage, this is a sure sign of who that person is.

2) Involve the children.

Who is most affected by your divorce case or your child custody case? That’s right – your children. Not you and not your spouse. Keep them insulated from your litigation so as to minimize the effects of their life being turned upside down. Do NOT use them as a messenger. Do NOT share intimate details of the other parent’s behavior. Do NOT let them read legal pleadings or letters from attorneys. DO not move your children far away from the other parent.

3) Be unreasonable in custody and visitation.

Unless your spouse actually causes harm to your children, you need to accept the fact that your children need both parents in their lives. There are things that a mother can provide, which a father can’t provide. There are things that a father can provide, which a mother can’t provide. Being unreasonable in custody and visitation or worse, denying visitation altogether, only makes you look like a bad parent.

4) Fail to provide support.

Support in this context means child support and alimony. Though mutually exclusive, the point is the same. Courts don’t like it when you refuse to pay reasonable amounts of support. Child support will be awarded in nearly all cases. Courts don’t like it when the non-custodial refuses to pay. Hint: they take it as a sign that you don’t care about your children. Likewise, if your case is one in which alimony is warranted, don’t refuse to provide for your spouse until the court orders you to do so.

5) Hide assets.

Some people get away with hiding assets. But a good divorce attorney will find them. When they do, they will let everyone know about it. Then you’re in trouble not only because you now have more assets in the pot, but you also lied about what you have.

6) Let emotion guide your actions.

This is the “catch-all” provision. Put simply: don’t be a jerk. While most family law cases are resolved outside the courtroom, there are many that end up in trial. Remember that the Judge who is ultimately deciding your case is a person too.

This is not legal advice. It is merely information. Every situation is different and you should contact an attorney licensed in your state to discuss your specific needs. I am not your attorney. You are not my client. If you need a family law attorney in Maryland or DC, contact a Maryland family attorney or DC divorce lawyer without delay.

Article Source:,-Child-Custody,-and-Family-Law—What-Not-to-Do-in-Your-Family-Law-Case&id=4972357

Five Easy Steps Towards Finding Lawyers For Child Custody

September 16, 2010 by Maricopa County Court  
Filed under Child Custody, Family Court

By Micheal Stone

Years ago my wife and I decided it would be best for us to separate so that we could live life more happily. What I did not know was that she was planning on taking my children completely away from me. When I learned of this unfortunate dilemma, I was lost with no idea where to begin. I knew that I needed a lawyer, but how could I find a lawyer, especially one that I would have to trust with the future of my children at stake?

Fortunately, I ended up picking the perfect lawyer for my case and ended up with a sole custody arrangement. I followed some simple steps when it came time to pick a lawyer, and I will lay them out for you here so that any parent finding themselves in the midst of a child custody battle will not have to worry about the most important step, finding a lawyer.

Step 1: The first step in finding the right child custody lawyer is to look in your local yellow pages for law firms in the area that specialize in child custody. It is very important to find a lawyer that specializes in child custody because these types of cases are very specific. For a very specific case you need a very specific lawyer. Never forget that the future of your children is on the line, so keep on your toes at all times.

Step 2: After looking in the yellow pages for child custody specific lawyers go to your local family court and ask around for suggestions. It is a very good idea to pick a lawyer that has fought cases in the same court room as your case will be held because the judge will most likely have a small relationship with your lawyer. Child custody battles are different than any other type of litigation because they pull much more of an emotional response from the judge. Having a lawyer who is on the side of the judge can have a substantial difference in the end result of your custody battle.

Step 3: After you feel that you have collected a solid list of lawyers, approximately 5-10, then you are ready to begin setting up meetings. Before you set up your meeting make sure to sit down for twenty minutes and think of all the case specific questions you have for the lawyer. It does not hurt to ask some of these questions before you are actually paying the lawyer. These questions will also give you something to compare the lawyers with.

Step 4: After you have met with all of your candidates and asked the questions you wrote down from step 4, its time to make the final selection. Your budget is also important in this decision, but make sure that you feel comfortable with your choice because they are altering your future. Good lawyers usually win their cases, so this decision is crucial.

Step 5: Now that you have chosen your lawyer, you are well on your way towards winning your child custody battle. Make sure that you tell your lawyer everything that you feel will help your case. He will also need to know the things that might hurt your case. The more your lawyer knows, the more your lawyer can be prepared for. You do not want to have your significant other blind side your lawyer in the court room because the judge will frown upon this.

Now that you have picked your lawyer you are halfway through winning the custody of your children. Remember, your children are your future and fighting for them is well worth the effort. You need to be in your child’s life, so follow these easy steps above and you will have a competitive advantage over your spouse or significant other.

Want to learn more about legal aid for child custody? Visit my website to learn helpful tips and information on how to win your child custody battle.

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Child Custody Help For Anyone

September 13, 2010 by Maricopa County Court  
Filed under Child Custody, Family Court

By Jon M Turner -

The first thing you need to remember is it doesn’t matter whether you are a mo – ther or a father, cases have been won by both in the past so the precedent has already been set. I will say generally the courts do tend to find in favour of the mother more often but the only consideration of any court is the best interest of the child or children.

So you want child custody help? The first thing I will say is I know what you are going through and what you must remember is so do lots of other people. The Judge and other people involved in the hearing will sympathise with what you are going through so try to keep a hat on your emotions. The hearing will be emotionally charged on both sides and things will be said that are hurtful and in some cases untrue. You must remain calm and let your Lawyer deal with that for you, that’s what they are there for. The last thing you want to do is lose the case because you insulted the Judge by shouting out in his/her court, trust me they don’t appreciate this!

What else? Well if you can afford it get a Lawyer, they are the real experts. Laws vary from State to State and you need an expert to win child custody and even for things like the differences in child custody forms. If you are utilizing the services of a Lawyer, you need to ensure that they know what you know. You can not be worried about upsetting your ex at this point, believe me they will not worry about upsetting you.

Another thing that will stand you in good stead is being prepared. Keep a journal about everything that happens, when you see the kids, what you do together, anything the kids say about your ex. The Court will love it if when questioned you can refer to your notes for an exact answer.

Also as insignificant as this may sound, you need to make the Judge like you. However wrong it sounds, the Judge is going to base some of his/her decision on the type of person he thinks you are so be polite, don’t swear, dress formally and smartly, ideally a suit.

Ok so my top tips are:

1. Be Prepared.

2. Be Honest.

3. Be Precise.

4. Create A Good Impression.

And here is my greatest tip, as hard as this is for you emotionally it is harder for the child or children so keep them informed. Tell them you love them and none of this is their fault and reassure them at every point possible.

For anyone that would like any further help or assistance please visit my website!

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Family Law – Various Issues With Which it Deals

September 9, 2010 by Maricopa County Court  
Filed under Family Court

By Andrew Stratton -

Family law encompasses a wide range of family related issues including prenuptial agreements, adoption, child custody and visitation and divorce to just name a few. In our modern society one doesn’t have to look further than the media to see the complications of modern life are not necessarily keeping up with the abilities of the court to regulate and offer relief. Issues such as property division when a couple has lived as man and wife without the legal recognition marriage can offer an eye opening experience as judges can not treat the property obtained during the relationship as marital assets and a whole new set of rules, which may seem less accurate and less fair, but none the less apply. When children are involved it can become more complex as the need to establish paternity can slow down the process to arrange child visitation, custody and support. Taking all of the deviations of life into consideration it is easy to understand why this law becomes important in protecting the rights of families.

Although technically divorces are handled by the Supreme Court, most other similarly related matters are handled by family court. This court can ultimately end up micro managing the lives of families with concerns such as paternity, child support, and spousal support. Paternity is usually not a problem with children born in wedlock but it may have to be established for children born out of wedlock. If paternity has already been proven the court can move forward towards setting kid’s support. This law can also work with custodial guardians to enforce child support orders and garnish the wages of parents who refuse to pay support. Other issues that family court deals with include spousal support. A non working spouse in the process of being divorced can be entitled to spousal support in order to avoid going on welfare. In addition to the types of law already discussed, this can extend to criminal matters such as restraining orders related to domestic violence. The same will also address the issue of youth who are beyond parental control and juveniles who have been charged with criminal offenses.

Clearly this law is capable of providing a wide range of services not only for families who need court intervention to move forward with their lives but also for families who occasionally find a need for family court to enforce established orders such as child or spousal support.

In nassau county family law is practiced by lawyers who devote their career to providing you with effective, personalized service and representation. They are personable, compassionate, and sensitive to your emotional and financial situation. To know more visit,

Article Source:—Various-Issues-With-Which-it-Deals&id=3909400

Child Custody – The Best Interest of the Child Standard

September 8, 2010 by Maricopa County Court  
Filed under Child Custody, Family Court

By Ernie Trimnal -

In child custody cases, the court in most jurisdictions will look at what is in the best interest of the child or children involved. In making its determination, the court considers a wide array of factors. First, we must distinguish between physical custody (where the child physically resides) and legal custody (who makes important decisions concerning the child). Factors are applied differently to each type of custody.

Who has been the primary caregiver? Further questions include who takes care of the child, feeds the child, shops for clothes, gets them up for school, bathes them, arranges daycare, and who the child turns to for help.

The fitness of each parent. Psychological and physical capacities of the parents.

Any agreements between the parties. The court will give a lot of weight to a custody agreement, but will want to make sure that any agreement is in the child’s best interest.

Ability to maintain family relationships. Who will not only allow family relationships, but will also promote them? This is extremely important.

Preference of the child. It is important to note that, while the preference of a child is important, it is not the determining factor. Additionally, the child must be of an age and maturity level to properly express an opinion. Many courts have a procedure whereby a separate attorney will be appointed to represent the interests of the child.

The financial resources of each parent. The idea here is that a party who is better situated financially will have the resources to provide more opportunities for the child. Of course, this is frequently not the case, so this is merely one of many factors.

Age, health and gender of child.

Distance between residences. If the parties live far apart, it will greatly affect a custody determination. Likewise, if the parents live next door to each other, it will also affect a custody determination.

Length of separation. How long has each parent been separated from the child?

Prior abandonment. This factor contemplates a situation where a parent has previously abandoned the child.

Additionally, in making a determination of legal custody and, more specifically, whether to award joint legal custody (i.e. the parents must make important decisions together), the court will often consider additional factors.

Ability of the parents to effectively communicate. This is clearly the most important factor in the determination of legal custody, and is relevant as well to physical custody as well. The cornerstone of joint legal custody is communication.

Willingness to share custody. The parents should be willing to have a joint custody arrangement.

Relationship Established Between the Child and Each Parent. When both parents are seen by the child as a source of security and love, there is a favorable climate for joint custody. On the other hand, joint custody may be inappropriate when opposed by the child, or when there are indications that the psychological or emotional needs of the child would suffer under a joint custody arrangement.

The above is not meant to be an all-inclusive list of what the court will consider in making a custody determination. Most courts will consider all relevant factors. But this list is a starting point

While the above generally describes the best interest standard, every child custody case is different, and jurisdictions differ in their approach. If you need a Maryland family attorney or Virginia family attorney, look no further.

Article Source:—The-Best-Interest-of-the-Child-Standard&id=4528717

Child Custody Lawyers – How to Find the Best Attorney & Win Your Case

By Joan Baker

Family law is not something you should tackle alone. The most important thing in your child custody case is to find a good attorney. Most people will start looking with a quick internet search; Googling something like “Florida child custody lawyer” or “Florida family law attorney”.

There is nothing wrong with starting out your search this way. The problem is many people end it there as well.

They find an advertisement for a Florida child custody lawyer, check out their site, and then hire them at the first meeting.

It’s a risky way to approach such an important decision.

Finding the RIGHT attorney is vital in this process.

They really can make the difference between winning and losing.

So how do you find the best child custody lawyer in Florida, or whatever state you reside in?

Here are a few good places to start:

1. See if you have any attorneys in your area who are members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. These attorneys are experts in family law and tend to be some of the best and most dedicated out there.

2. If you have issues with a vindictive or abusive ex, you can check out local domestic violence meetings for support and advice. Many of these women have had extensive dealings with family law and the courts. They can be a wealth of information about attorneys and judges in your county.

Once you’ve picked a few family law attorneys who you think might be good, do a little research on them. Check the state bar association website to see if there are any infractions against them.

Google their name and see what comes up. (Sidenote: You should also do the same for your judge, if you already have one assigned.)

If you still think they might be a winner, interview them and ask probing questions about family law and your specific case. One thing you should ask them is how busy they are with their current caseload and what is the expected time to return calls and messages. Most lawyers are notoriously bad at this and you need to know, if something comes up, how much support you’ll have available, and how quickly.

When looking for a qualified child custody lawyer in Florida, or whatever state you reside, remember, a little extra research will put you miles ahead of the game.

To get the 9 critical strategies for winning child custody when dealing with irrational, vindictive or abusive ex’s, click here:

Joan Baker is an expert in child custody after going through her own custody ordeal, researching the laws and now helping other women going through the process.

Article Source:—How-to-Find-the-Best-Attorney-and-Win-Your-Case&id=1258208

Child Custody Court – Being Prepared

September 2, 2010 by Maricopa County Court  
Filed under Child Custody, Family Court

By Alan Katz -

Before going to your first child custody court hearing it is a good idea to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for what may be quite an exhausting and stressful experience. If you have a court hearing scheduled already you are probably experiencing a fair amount of anxiety by now. One of the most important things to remember is to keep your cool at all costs. You do not want to walk into the court room looking like a basket case, as this will do absolutely nothing to help your position. Rather than considering strategies in which you can attack the opposition, it is a much better idea to consider ways in which you can make yourself favorable in the court’s eyes.

One of the things you may want to do is obtain letters of character reference from various sources. If you already have custody of your children and you are the one being sued, you may want to provide documentation from your child’s teachers, or other school officials, about your performance as a parent who is active in your child’s life. It may also be helpful to obtain a letter from your employer and landlord/mortgage holder. These things can help the child custody court determine your stability.

While you do not want to attack the opposition, you should also remember to include any documentation surrounding any allegations of abuse or neglect on their part. It is critical that any claims you are making against the character of the parent you are battling should be backed up with solid proof. Remember that child custody courts deal in facts and evidence so make sure you provide as much documentation you can surrounding any claims of wrong doing, including photographs, witnesses, or any other type of evidence you may have.

Don’t risk the pain of losing custody of your child or getting minimal visitation rights by not knowing the rules of child custody court.

Next, discover the best custody arrangement and how you can virtually guarantee a win in your custody case. Visit my site at

Article Source:—Being-Prepared&id=4914649

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