Couples who have children together but are splitting up may have to deal with the stresses of a child custody battle. In Arizona, this can be among the most trying parts of a divorce case. Even if the couple was never married, child custody and child support may have to be determined by a family court. Ideally, the parties involved will work together to develop a co-parenting plan that works for them and for the children.
Often, though, emotions are too strong, or the couple simply cannot come to an amicable resolution. Courts in nearly all states recognize that the father's role in raising a child is as significant as the mother's, but a lot of children still end up living primarily with their mothers. Regardless of the specific circumstances, parents can take steps to minimize the stresses of the custody process and make it easier on the kids.
The first thing to keep in mind is to be reasonable. Custody battles are not opportunities to get back at an ex: They are about developing a co-parenting structure that leads to healthy, well-adjusted children. Parents should remove their own emotions about each other as much as they can and keep the best interests of the children in mind. That's what the court will look at: the best interests of the child.
Parents should also make sure that they're ready for the children when custody or visitation time comes by preparing a space for them. People who anticipate custody issues might want to schedule a consultation with a lawyer. A lawyer with experience in family law may be able to develop a strategy for approaching child custody disputes or attempt to negotiate a compromise with the other parent. A lawyer might bring motions in family court or argue on the client's behalf.