Man Spending Parenting Time With Child

Behaviors That Can Hurt Your Case for Parenting Time

Going through a divorce can be stressful for both spouses, especially when there are contested issues over child custody and visitation — known in Arizona as parenting time. Unfortunately, many of the behaviors people exhibit when stressed, such as irritability, anger and confrontation, can have a negative impact on a court’s consideration of parenting time and can leave a lasting impact on the parents’ relationship with their children.

In deciding how much parenting time to grant each parent, courts must be guided by the best interests of the child. This involves an evaluation of each parent’s relationship with their child, each parent’s relationship with their co-parent and both parents’ overall emotional and mental health. Parents who display personality traits that may be inimical to the child’s best interests might be denied the parenting time arrangement they’ve requested. Here are behaviors that should be avoided:

  • Any suggestion of being uncooperative — Regardless of your relationship with your former spouse, you have a responsibility to co-parent your children. The court will want to see that you are able to put your child’s interests above your own frustrations. If you appear unwilling to cooperate during the divorce process, or in handling the logistics of parenting, the judge may be wary of your ability to cooperate after divorce.
  • Violations of the law or court orders — This includes not paying traffic tickets, getting arrested or failing to comply with temporary court orders concerning custody and visitation. The court will want to know that you can cooperate with your former spouse and with the general requirements of the court order.
  • Verbal and emotional outbursts — While divorce can be stressful, it is imperative that you control your emotions and avoid voicing your frustrations to your former spouse or kids. If you cannot control your emotions and act responsibly during the divorce proceeding, the court will question your ability to do so with your children in the future and whether you can be a responsible parent.

If you are contemplating a divorce, it is important to be on your best behavior at all times leading up to and during the process. An experienced Arizona divorce attorney can advise you on how to navigate the divorce in a way that prioritizes maintaining a strong relationship with your children so that you can be awarded the maximum parenting time possible.

At Clark & Schloss Family Law, P.C. in Scottsdale, we represent Arizona residents in all aspects of divorce, including working out fair parenting plans. Please call our office at 602-789-3497 or contact us online to arrange a consultation.