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Supervised Visitation

storytimeIn most custody cases, parenting time is set up to maximize the child’s time with each parent. The court recognizes the importance of both parents. The non-custodial parent has scheduled time with the child and can spend that time however he or she wants.

In certain situations, visitation needs to be controlled more closely. If the court has real concerns about the child’s safety while with the noncustodial parent, restrictions can be applied. This is most common if there has been a history of child abuse or neglect by the parent, the parent has a history of serious untreated mental health issues, or he or she has a substance abuse problem.

In situations like these, the court can order supervised visitation. This allows the parent to have contact with the child, but only in the presence of another adult. This ensures that a parent-child relationship can continue, but also provides a safe environment for the child. Supervised visitation is not something that is ordered when the parents have disagreements or clashes about how to parent. It reserved for very serious situations where the child’s safety would be in question were regular parenting time allowed.

Often a friend or family member is selected as the supervisor. This is often the most convenient option, but it can cause problems if the person does not take the responsibility seriously and leaves the room or the home during the scheduled supervision period. Another alternative is community organizations that host supervised visitation programs. These programs are carefully monitored, but they often have waiting lists and can provide only an hour or two of supervision at a time, in an impersonal public space.

The Sampair Group handles supervised visitation cases in Arizona. We are conveniently located in Maricopa County and can help you with your case. Make an appointment with us now.

Myths about Child Custody Cases

20074768_sThere are lots of myths you will hear about child custody cases. Sorting out fact from fiction can be hard, so make a note of these common myths.

  • Custody cases are always bitter. While some custody cases do turn ugly, it’s not something you should assume will happen. Most parents honestly want the best for their child and find a way to work together to create a plan that will benefit their child. While deciding custody can be challenging and complex, if you and the other parent enter the process with good intentions, it’s likely you can resolve the case with little damage. It is important to have an attorney who is willing to listen to you and help you create a parenting schedule that puts your child first.
  • Your custody case will ruin your child’s life. If your custody case turns into an all-out war that focuses on a personal need for revenge instead of your child’s needs, yes, your child will likely be damaged. But most children get through a custody case extremely well and continue on with their lives with little scars.
  • You have to trash the other parent to win. First of all, no one wins in a custody case. Everyone accepts some kind of compromise with the intention of creating a plan that is best for the child. And no one has to trash anyone to achieve a fair and reasonable result. If you are in a contested custody case, you do need to have a frank discussion with your attorney about your concerns about the other parent and the evidence you have to back it up, but your goal should not be to ruin the other parent.
  • The non-custodial parent is the loser. The outcome of a custody case should be two involved parents who share time with their child. Often one parent has more time than the other, but that doesn’t mean anyone has lost. The parent with less time is still important in the child’s life and there are ways to maximize the parenting time arrangement via Skype, texts, phone calls, and simply staying emotionally involved.

The Sampair Group represents parents in paternity, custody, child support, and divorce cases in the Phoenix, Glendale and Mesa, Arizona areas. Call to make an appointment today to discuss your questions with us.

How to Get Your Kids to Go on Visitation

ChildofDivorceAgreeing out your parenting time plan takes a lot of work and once it is in place, you hope things will go smoothly. While most kids adapt to the new schedule, some have some difficulty with it and some may even refuse to go on scheduled parenting time visits. Don’t be surprised if you are faced with tantrums, refusals to go with the other parent, refusals to communicate at all with the other parent, and complaints about how horrible visitation is. It’s really hard to make your child go when he makes it clear how much he does not want to. You’re torn between your child’s expressed desires and the court order.

The first thing to do is absolve yourself. “It’s not up to me,” you tell your child. “The judge decided this and it’s what we have to do.” If you and your spouse agreed to the plan then tell the child that you and the other parent think it is best for the child. You may also want to tell the child that you and the other parent can always change things if you both agree.  In this way to change it from being a power struggle between you and your child to a situation where you are working together to comply with something.  Compare it to going to school. Some days your child doesn’t want to go, but she has to.

You and your ex must present a unified front. You might have doubts about the plan, but in front of your child, you need to stand together and work to uphold it. If you have doubts, talk to your lawyer, but work to comply with the order until it is changed. If you and your ex are on the same page, your child cannot play one parent off the other.

Think about why your child is resisting. Often once your child gets to the other parent’s home, everything is fine, so it is the transition that is challenging. Find ways to improve the transition by picking a better time (when your child is not hungry, tired, or stressed) or a more neutral place. Do not use transitions as a time to discuss other issues with your ex (such as child support).

The Sampair Group is ready to be your advocate in your divorce or family court case. We serve all of Maricopa County, Arizona. Call us today.

Breadwinning Mothers Risk Losing Custody After Divorce

Recent figures show that 42% of marriages end in divorce. In most cases of divorce, it is the mother that gets custody of the children, and the father receives visitation and parenting time rights. However, recent cases show that to be different, especially if the mother is the breadwinner in the family.

Many recent divorce cases have shown that professional women whose marriages are ending have lost custody to their ex husband. When the mother is a successful businesswoman and makes most of the money in the family, courts will often consider the children to be better off living with the father full-time, while receiving financial support from the mother.

While female breadwinners shouldn’t expect to be treated any differently than their male counterparts, it surely is difficult for any parent to know they do not have full custody of their children mostly because of their career and success.

When a couple gets married, it’s likely that both spouses have a job. Oftentimes, when children are born into a marriage, the workload for one of the parents decreases so there is more room for childcare at home.  Other family dynamics will often change, including priorities for each parent when it comes to balancing home and work.

It’s likely that many hardworking women predict how their situation would turn out if they were to go through a divorce, and they are often ill prepared for the potential outcomes of a divorce, especially when they factor in custody of their children.

If you are a hardworking mother with a very time consuming career, the best way to avoid losing custody of your children is to come up with a efficient working arrangement that allows time and attention for your children from you.

At The Sampair Group, we will work with you and the conditions and specifics of your divorce case to get you the results you want, including child custody agreements. Visit us at www.sampair.com for a free consultation today.

Proposed Law Could Create Big Changes in Arizona Child Custody Laws

Divorced parents may soon find new legal battles to face due to legislation awaiting action by the Arizona Senate. SB1038 is a proposed bill that would eliminate the existing laws that allow a parent that has custody of a child to move up to 100 miles away. SB1038 could result in swift court action before any move of any distance is considered.

There is an already existing 20-year old law that allows a court to consider whether or not a move would be in a parent’s best interest – a law that SB1038 would eliminate. Instead, a judge would be limited to only considering what is best for the child.

Those in support of the proposed bill claim that the current law allows a parent to move unchecked, as long as it is within 100 miles, but some parents may move less than 100 miles away, but multiple times, putting them beyond the limit with no court interference. They say that the change will eliminate any kind of “sneaking away” from a noncustodial parent, thus allowing the noncustodial parent to spend more quality time with the child.

This who oppose the bill are concerned that the chance will make things difficult in a legal sense for custodial parents. If passed, SB1038 would require a 45-day notice of any potential move. This could result in the custodial parents finding themselves in a position where they are forced to break the law if they are unable to find adequate housing for them and their child in an area that fits the law’s parameter allowance. This could especially happen if they must be out of their current residence within a 30-day period.

This law is the first legislation to update Arizona child custody and parenting laws in 20 years. If you have children and are divorced and are concerned about how the new law may impact your situation, consult with a Glendale child custody attorney at The Sampair Group. Visit us at www.sampair.com for more information.