First of all, understand that there is little that he can do BEFORE the child is born in regards XXXXX XXXXX with the Court. A complaint for custody may only be filed ONCE the child is born. At the moment, he can perhaps build his case by recording/investigating her past.CUSTODY
The Court decides on custody based on the rule of thumb of "best interest of the child
." This includes, but is not limited to, general stability of the parent, financial stability, indoctrination of the child in the current school and environment, household condition and living condition of the child, other persons living in the house, etc. Specifically, the enumerated factors are:
1. The wishes of the child’s parent or parents as to custody.
2. The wishes of the child as to the custodian.
3. The interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child’s parent or parents, the child’s siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest.
4. The child’s adjustment to home, school and community.
5. The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.
6. Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent and meaningful continuing contact with the other parent.
7. Whether one parent, both parents or neither parent has provided primary care of the child.
8. The nature and extent of coercion or duress used by a parent in obtaining an agreement regarding custody.
9. Whether a parent has complied with chapter 3, article 5 of this title.
10. Whether either parent was convicted of an act of false reporting of child abuse or neglect. (Arizona Statutes - Title 25 - Chapters: 401)
The courts generally do not like to split the custody 50/50 since this is hard on the child unless both parents agree and as for this.
One parent usually becomes the custodian and the other parent becomes the "visiting" parent which is generally one day a week, every other weekend, and alternating holidays. The nuanced points of the custody can either be decided by the parties or the Court, if the parties cannot come to an agreement.
Even if a parent does not get managing custody, they are almost guaranteed visitation
unless they have a drug problem, alcohol dependency, or an unsafe home environment. Abuse and or neglect of the child or previous children are an almost automatic bar for even visitation, although supervised visitation
may be granted by the Court.
Of course, that is the standard order of possession. That order can be modified if both parties agree or if the Court finds that it is an extraordinary situation.
The visiting parent pays child support to the custodian, unless the custodian declines it. See here
. But this can be altered if both parties agree to a lesser or higher amount or do not put child support in the orders all-together; the Court will only impose default child support if the parties cannot agree.
Now the court does not technically differentiate between mother and father when deciding on custody. But frankly speaking, with a newborn, the mother is HEAVILY favored unless he can show drug abuse, neglect of the child, etc. So he will have to show some serious questionable parenting by her. Perhaps he can wait to file until the child is a bit older for a better chance.NAME
This is almost secondary. The Court will decide this in the custody petition based on "best interest" doctrine. It is purely the Judge's call and can vary. If he gets custody, there is a larger chance the Court will agree to have the child have his name, although plenty of Judges also grant that honor to the father even if he does not get formal custody.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.
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