I'd would just like a lawyers honest intake on the logic of this. Assume no abusive or criminal past. Live locally to my kids. How does this make sense at all? If there is nothing warranting reduced time with dads, then I see the only thing left to base custody on is gender. Situation below:
My wife divorced me and I can only see my children 4 days per month.
I have a new girlfriend and I spend more time with her children from another man than I can spend with my own children.
While some other guy who is now with my ex-wife spends more time with my children than his own.
This is a tough one to answer. Our society often thinks that the mom has a special place in the lives of their children. Many states have moved away from this philosophy by statute. Unfortunately, some judges have not adopted a more up to date point of view. Talk to your kids over Skype as often as you can in between visits.
This response is only a basic answer to your question and is not intended to be legal advise. It is your job to hire an attorney and to discuss the specifics of this question with him or her. I am not giving you specific legal advise and there is no attorney-client relationship created by my answer to your question. The choice of an attorney is an important decision that you must make and that choice should not be made upon adverting alone.
Your situation isn't the "trend." The law is gender neutral and, if anything, recent statutory changes favor Fathers. It sounds like you weren't very well-represented in your divorce, assuming that's when custody was decided. Consider a modification to expand parenting time as soon as you're eligible. Sometimes there are practical limitations to prevent equal parenting time, but four days per week is far too few, based only on the little information you've provided here.
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Since I do not know the circumstances surrounding the Custody Order it is difficult to direct an answer to the facts of your case. However, the statutes in Arizona strictly forbid gender as a factor in determining custody in Arizona. In my experience (34 years) the Judges do not use gender as a factor. However, there are numerous other factors the Court does consider. It is possible that you did not address all of the factors for the Court's consideration. In any event all is not lost. You can ask the Court to modify the Order as long as the Order has been in effect for 1 year (there are shorter durations to wait in certain circumstances). You should see a Family Law Attorney to discus when and how to modify the existing Order. The most important thing to realize is that whatever happened last time you do not want a repeat of same. Therefore some careful planning may be necessary to prevent that past outcome. Many of the lawyers, including The Sampair Group, provide a free consultation.
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As has been stated, without more information, a detailed response cannot be given, but current Arizona laws favor having both parents exercising equal parenting time where possible. The reasoning behind ordering only 4 days a month, is important to know before anyone can give you specific advice on modifying the current parenting time orders which will likely result in a modification of child support. A consult with a family law attorney will help give you a more in depth answer to your specific question.
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I would need to know more t understand how your orders are so limited. And how long ago were those orders entered? Did she proceed "by default"? Perhaps a modification is warranted. Our current Arizona law requires your Judge, consistent with the child's best interests, to adopt a parenting plan that provides for both parents to share legal decision-making regarding their child and that MAXIMIZES their respective parenting time. Your current orders clearly do not do so, so perhaps a change is warranted.
A qualified and experienced family law attorney can of course assist you in considering your options and then getting where you need to be. Most of us offer free, ½ hour consultations, in which your matter can be discussed in detail. That would be a great opportunity to discuss the specifics of your matter and develop a plan. I would encourage you to quickly schedule this free consultation.
The presumption in Arizona is generally for joint legal decision making and equal parenting time. The most important consideration is the best interest of the children. If a parent wants greater rights, they should argue why that is best for the children. This is actually the general legal trend.
I do not know the specifics in your case, but consider having an attorney review the order, discuss the facts, and look into post-judgment options, eg new trial, motion to reconsider.
4 days a month is nothing, and hard to support if there is no good reason.
**This is not legal advice. We have not established an attorney-client relationship. You probably have not provided nearly enough information for any attorney to give you a straight answer**
I always tell clients Arizona is a "Mother's State". In my opinion, when it comes to parenting time, legal decision-making, child support, and spousal maintenance, women often get the benefit of the doubt while men have an uphill battle. This is simply my observations and experience. It also should be noted that, in my experience, Mothers tend to fight much harder for pushing the children out of Father's life, so that plays a part as well. And generally, I feel Mother's believe (and society reinforces it) that they have superior rights over the Father no matter what the age of the children. That is why it is very common to see in a divorce that the Mother will take the children and not allow Father to see the children, even when Father has been living with the children for many years and seeing them everyday. In my experience most Fathers would not do something like that, and most Mothers have no problem doing it. Also, you need to have representation in Court by an attorney in your position.
he response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Arizona. Responses are based solely on Arizona law unless stated otherwise.
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