Child Custody Attorneys in Sierra Vista, Arizona

September, 2013 by

Going through a divorce can be traumatic enough, but when children are involved it makes sense to be as informed as possible. Knowing the issues beforehand will help relieve some of the stress on both you and your children. As a parent, it is your responsibility to make good and thoughtful decisions about the child custodial arrangements.

Some issues to think about include who would best provide for your child’s basic needs such as food and shelter. Health care can be an enormous expense for any family. The parent who is able to provide health insurance may not necessarily be the custodial parent.

Parents should make every effort to make arrangements, keeping in mind what would be best for the child. Some important things that parents will want to discuss with each other include: religious beliefs, where will the child attend school and how much time will the non-custodial parent spend with the child.

If parents cannot agree on these important issues, it will be decided by the court system. Custody will be awarded based on the parents’ character, behavior and reputation. The court looks at several points including:

* Drug or alcohol abuse
* Criminal history
* Allegations of abuse
* Cleanliness and safety of custodial home
* Income

Custody does not automatically go to the child’s chief caregiver, which is usually the mother. As you can see, it is a complex decision and is based other factors.

Once custody as been decided, either by the court or by parental agreement, the details will be spelled out in an agreement, which will become an official court document. This means that it must be followed and that both parties must comply with each and every provision.

Some important parts of the agreement will include:
* Who will have primary physical custody
* When will the non-custodial parent be able to see the child and where
* How the child will spend any school vacations or holidays
* Who will provide the health insurance for the child
* Life insurance provisions for the child
* Amounts and frequency of any child support payments

Child custody agreements generally are in effect until the child reaches 18 years of age, but educational provisions can extend beyond age 18; for example, who pays for the child’s college education.

Please consult with the Law Office of Joseph Mendoza Child custody attorneys in Sierra Vista for further help and guidance through this stressful time.

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