The process to go through formal court hearings to decide custody tends to be much longer, and the judge assigned to the case ultimately has to determine the best interests of the child.
Yuma, AZ – Child custody issues can take some time depending on the specifics of the family and any other matters being contested. In most cases, this can take between a few months and a year. However, it is always recommended that anyone who is about to go through a custody battle get legal help to protect their interests and the interests of their children.
Settlement agreements for child custody matters
By far, the easiest and quickest way to resolve child custody matters is if the two parents can agree on all custody issues, come to a settlement, and have the courts verify and endorse their parenting plan. In an ideal situation, the parents will actually have more control over their wishes and custody needs through a settlement than by going to court. This is because they have more control over the details, and they may only receive some assistance from a professional to help with the negotiation process. After the documents and negotiation is complete, there is relevant paperwork that needs to be filed and approved. However, even a settlement is a legally binding document, so the parents need to be careful to follow it closely.
Custody matters decided in court
The process to go through formal court hearings to decide custody tends to be much longer, and the judge assigned to the case ultimately has to determine the best interests of the child and create the final custody plan. Before going to court, each parent should have their own lawyer who will go over the process, create a litigation strategy, and see if there are any negative items in the parent’s past that may be brought up.
The attorneys will need to file the appropriate paperwork in the local family court system to start the case. The process may be slightly different depending on whether the parents are married or not, going through a divorce, and whether a paternity test is necessary. There may be a delay between when the documents are filed and the response from the defendant parent or spouse, as they have twenty days to respond. Arizona also requires a mandatory parenting class to be taken within forty five days before the formal hearing can begin as well.
Once the case is being litigated, the length can depend on the amount of information that needs to be sorted, as well as the number of issues contested by each parent.
Advice from family lawyers in Arizona
Schneider and Onofry is a trusted family law practice that helps people in the Yuma area. Their attorneys can assist with child custody hearings, divorces, alimony payments, and other related problems.