Dos and don'ts for Arizona child custody

You and your spouse may want to come up with a child custody arrangement, which can be approved by the court when you get divorced. Below are a few things you should and should not do during this process.

-- Do think about the agreement from a practical standpoint. For example, having your child live with you for a week and then live with your ex for a week sounds fair numerically, but does it realistically work when considering school, sports and after school activities?

-- Don't split up the kids, if you have more than one. It may seem like a good solution to have your daughter stay with you for a week, while your son stays with your ex, and then to trade back and forth every week, but this can actually cause a lot of emotional issues for the kids. Remember, in that situation, they'd never see each other and that natural relationship would be ruined.

-- Do think about your child's needs more than your own desires. For instance, you might want to stop your ex from ever seeing the kids as a way to punish him or her for the divorce, but this can be detrimental to the children's growth and development.

-- Don't ignore your child's voice. While you don't want to make the child choose outright, pitting you against your spouse and putting that pressure on the child, older children may have opinions and desires. Let them express these and factor them into the agreement.

These tips can help you come up with a plan that is going to work in Arizona. Make sure you know what legal steps need to be taken to put the plan in place.

Source: Enlighten Me, "Child Custody Dos and Don’ts," accessed July 21, 2016

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