The term child custody is in reference to the guardianship rights awarded to a parent. It is used to detail the legal and decision making relationship among the custodial parent and the child. When establishing child custody rights, the court will assess several factors, but first and primarily they will consider the best interests of the child.
Some of the general factors that courts will think about comprise of:
- Each of the parent’s relationship with the child, in addition to their history of their interaction with the child;
- If one of the parents has been acting as the child’s primary care giver;
- The child’s history and their accommodation to their home, neighborhood, school, etc.;
- The mental and physical well-being of the child in addition to both parents;
- If the child has any special needs, like physical or mental; and
- The desires of the parents, in addition to the desires of the child if they’re old enough to declare a preference.
Key Elements of a Child Custody Agreement
A child custody agreement is a kind of written legal document details the ground rules for child custody among the parents. These ground rules usually comprise of:
- Which particular parent has principal physical custody of the child;
- Which particular parent has been awarded legal custody (this is commonly the same parent that has principal physical custody);
- If custody is to be divided among the parents, or one parent will get more physical custody times; and
- Visitation plans for the non-custodial parent.
Commonly, child custody agreements are required be approved by a judge for it to be legal and binding in accordance with state laws. In addition, they are typically issued through divorce or separation hearings. Nevertheless, not every child custody agreement is worked in a courtroom by a judge. Even though a judge is required to approve the child custody agreement, there are other ways of organizing the agreement without court prior to bringing it to a judge for their approval.
What Are Other Ways of Arranging a Child Custody Agreement Without Court?
Any resolution of child custody is going to result in a parenting plan. A parenting plan is a kind of agreement among parents that determines the schedule and responsibilities of each parent in relation to the child. The parenting plan additionally provides information regarding parental rights and the rights of other individuals that might be involved in the child’s life, like grandparents or step-parents.
Parenting plans are created by the court, the parents on their own, or the attorneys that are involved in their divorce or separation. These plans can be as complicated or as simple as the parties involved want, because there is no set form to a parenting plan. The plan needs be created and signed by each of the parents, then submitted to the court for their approval.
Via Direct Discussion and Contact
Other ways to arrange a child custody agreement without going to court is through direct discussion and contact. Parents are recommended to work out their issues by themselves as much as they can. Consequently, if both parties involved still talk to each other and it is okay to do so, they should attempt to discuss their issues directly. This takes away much of the procedure from the process and enables both parties to directly discuss what is the most important.
Additionally, it is the least expensive option, because it doesn’t take an attorney’s time, and requires less court time apart from submitting the agreement for approval. Nevertheless, it is still suggested that an attorney be involved prior to signing your parenting plan.
Associated to direct talking is collaboration. Collaboration is an option to direct discussion because it involves collaboration among each parents using their attorneys. Attorneys are a formidable asset in acquiring the best arrangement for the child in addition to their client because of their expertise and knowledge. Collaboration still decreases the amount of procedure involved in throughout the process. Nevertheless, collaboration still needs considerable legal work, so fees may be considerably higher.
Is Mediation an Alternative for the Arrangement of Child Custody Without Going to Court?
Mediation is the method in which an unbiased 3rd party communicates among two conflicting parties. The 3rd party, called a mediator, encourages reconciliation, agreement, or settlement. Mediators will work with the two parents, in addition to their attorneys, in order to assist them in coming to an agreement in regard to child custody and their parenting plan. It is important to note that anything done or said by the mediator has any binding force. The ensuing agreement can only be effective if each of the parties sign the agreement. Additionally, the court has to approve of the ensuing agreement.
The mediation alternative keeps the courts involvement in the process at a minimum, which reduces costs.
Furthermore, mediation typically takes less time than a trial, particularly beneficial for sensitive cases. However, mediation involves additional costs for the mediator and attorneys, making it pricier than the previous options. Regardless of the method chosen to establish child custody arrangements without court involvement, both parents must sign the agreement. Lastly, the agreement must be approved by the court.
Am I Going to Need an Attorney for Assistance with Child Custody Matters?
It is vital to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced child custody attorney prior to signing any child custody agreement. A skilled child custody attorney ensures the custody arrangement aligns with state laws and prioritizes both your and your child’s well-being.
Finally, the attorneys can assist you in presenting the custody arrangement for the courts approval.
Peeler, T. (2019, November 28). How to Get Child Custody Without Going to Court. Retrieved December 28, 2020, from https://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/how-to-get-child-custody-without-going-to-court.html
Speak With Our Child Custody Attorney In Phoenix, Arizona
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An experienced family law attorney will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. We advocate for our clients, so they have the brightest future possible. Give us a call today at 480-999-0800 for a free consultation.