Who Gets Child Custody After Divorce in Arizona?

One of the hardest parts of a divorce might involve the custody of the children. Arizona child custody laws give the implication that parents have equal rights, so it is necessary for you to hire a family law attorney who is familiar with child custody, child support, and divorce matters. Custody of the children is often the most hotly contested aspect of a divorce proceeding. Arizona laws encourage parents to reach an agreement regarding divorce on their own. If a compromise is not reached, then the court must resolve the issue and make a ruling on who gets child custody after divorce in Arizona.

What Are the Different Kinds of Custody in Arizona?

Not all custody matters are resolved in the same way. And, there are different kinds of custody. Custody can be confusing as certain terms might have different meanings in different states. Like other states, Arizona agrees that sole custody is the same as legal custody. If a parent is awarded sole custody of a child, he or she alone decides the significant matters, such as education, religion, and medical care. If joint custody is awarded, then both parents make those decisions together. Physical custody refers to the home of the parent where the child lives most of the time. Arizona custody laws have shown the likelihood of ordering joint physical custody time for both parents.

What Are the Trial Prerequisites in Arizona Divorces?

Any Arizona divorce proceeding involving children requires the parents to submit a parenting plan that proposes which parent will have physical and legal custody. The plan must also have a visitation schedule that describes when the parent who doesn’t have custody will spend time with the child or children. Parenting plans should be very detailed and tell the court when the parents will be addressing any custody problems that could arise later. If the parents cannot reach an agreement, and even if only a small issue is being disputed, the divorce will go to trial. Some counties in Arizona require mediation before the custody issues are decided in a court of law.

What Are Best Interest Factors?

If the case must advance to court, the judge will make decisions based on the best interests of the child. This process not only includes the input and preferences of the child, but also involves determining which parent was the primary caretaker of the child when the parents were married. Courts will consider the parents’ goal to facilitate a healthy and loving relationship for the child with the other parent. The court will consider any evidence of domestic violence or child abuse, but false allegations can be looked upon negatively by the court.

How Do Visitation Rights Work?

child custody after divorce in arizonaArizona statutes are written to encourage a judge to order the noncustodial parent “frequent and continuing contact” with the children. There are exceptions if there is a threat of danger to the child in either a moral, emotional, mental, or physical manner. Despite Arizona being a no-fault divorce state where marital misconduct doesn’t influence the court’s decisions for property division or alimony, it can affect custody matters. Visitation is referred to as parenting time in Arizona. Arizona law indicates that the custodial parent cannot move out of state with the children, or even more than 100 miles away in the state, without giving the other parent at least a 45-day notice (A.R.S. 25-408). The noncustodial parent has one month to file an objection to the month by a petition in the court.

If you are facing divorce and custody issues, you should consult with an Arizona family law attorney who can help you with the situation about child custody after divorce in Arizona.

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