Scottsdale Child Custody Attorney
How Is Child Custody Determined in Arizona?
In Arizona, the common term “child custody” refers to a parent’s legal authority to make decisions pertaining to the child as well as parenting plans related to the time spent by each parent with the child. Legal decisions involve major matters concerning a child’s education, religious upbringing, health care, and other significant life issues. Both of these aspects of child custody may be decided on a joint or sole basis. For example, sole decision-making is where only one parent has the legal right to make these major decisions whereas joint decision-making involves both parents.
Child custody matters not only need to be determined while a divorce is pending but they can also arise between unmarried parents leading to a paternity action, in legal separations, when one parent wants to relocate with a child, and in other post-divorce matters such as modifications of existing court custody orders. Also, in less common cases, other family members such as grandparents may also file for third-party legal custody rights under Arizona law.
Parenting plans are a crucial part of custody decisions. These plans are required by law to address certain issues, such as legal decision-making, schedules that detail the parenting time for each parent, including a plan for holidays, school vacation, birthdays, and other special events, how children will be exchanged between parents, parental dispute procedures, and procedures for parental communication about the child. The more specific these plans are, the less room there will be for disagreement and breaches.
Does Arizona Favor Mothers in Custody Cases?
No, according to Arizona Revised Statute Section 403.02(B), courts in Arizona do not favor mothers in child custody cases. It also states that the court shall not prefer a parent's proposed parenting plan because of the parent's or child's gender.
Our firm has resolved extremely adversarial and complicated custody cases. With a Certified Family Law Specialist on the team, we bring exceptional expertise to this issue. At kdlaw P.C., we understand the emotional and legal complexities that arise out of child custody and parenting time matters. Our legal team has been resolving these issues for clients for decades, through negotiation, mediation, and litigation in court. We are here to give an honest assessment of your case along with reasonable expectations.
How kdlaw P.C. Can Help
Child custody is commonly one of the most contentious matters in an Arizona divorce. As a parent, you may feel that your relationship with your child is at risk or is being threatened. You may feel that you are the better parent or know what is best for your child despite the other parent’s views on the matter. You may also be overwhelmed by emotional distress, anxiety, and uncertainty and by the entire process involved with the determination of this important issue.
Family courts decide custody based on the underlying guideline of what is in the child’s best interests. Courts generally favor joint custody arrangements because children benefit the most from a continuing relationship with both parents. Only when a parent might pose a danger to the child will a court resort to sole custody, limited parenting time, or supervised visitation. Our team will always work to help you resolve this issue in the most amicable manner possible. However, when necessary, we will take your case to court and work diligently on your behalf to preserve your parental rights as well as your child’s best interests.
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