Scottsdale Child
Custody Attorney

Our primary goal is to assist you with resolving your family law issue efficiently and affordably while protecting your interests. Our Scottsdale child custody lawyers exercise a no-nonsense style of practice. They are upfront and straightforward about the strength of your positions so you can make appropriate and informed decisions about your family law matter.

Why Choose Our Scottsdale Child Custody Attorneys?


Navigating a child custody case is arguably one of the most emotionally challenging aspects of any family law proceeding. You need attorneys who understand this, attorneys like our experienced team at BTL Family Law, who pair legal diligence with empathetic counsel.

Our firm is steadfast in its commitment to providing cost-effective legal solutions. We advocate that your resources are best directed towards your child’s future rather than legal fees. We aim to make the process as streamlined and efficient as possible.

Regardless of the complexity of your case, our firm utilizes its profound understanding of Scottsdale and Arizona’s specific child custody laws to develop effective legal strategies tailored to your unique situation. We’re prepared to go to great lengths to safeguard your and your child’s rights and interests.

Our Scottsdale family law attorneys are adept at negotiation, mediation, and litigation, and the strategy is always tailored to suit your specific situation and goals. We are unyieldingly client-centric, believing that your voice should drive your case, making our firm the trusted choice for many in their child custody matters.

Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced Scottsdale Child Custody Attorney Today

Take Control and Protect Your Future

We are here to answer your questions about divorce, child custody, child support, or other family law issues like father’s rights. If you need help with child custody ruling modification, we can help with that too.

Understanding Child Custody in Scottsdale, AZ

When parents split up, the children are caught in the middle. Most of the time, they find a way to blame themselves, so they are already having a hard time even if their parents aren’t fighting. Too many parents have a hard time putting aside their own hurt and anger, not noticing the effect their breakup is having on their children.

Child custody refers to parents’ legal rights and responsibilities towards their children following a divorce or separation. It determines who the child will live with (physical custody) and who has the right to make important decisions about the child’s upbringing, education, and healthcare (legal custody).

Physical custody can be sole (where the child lives with one parent most of the time and the other parent has visitation rights) or joint (where the child spends significant time with both parents). Legal custody, on the other hand, can also be granted to one parent (sole) or both parents (joint) but reflects the authority to make crucial decisions for the child’s welfare, education, religious upbringing, and medical care.

Child custody arrangements are often tailored to fit the unique dynamics of each family and differ based on several factors, including the child’s best interests, the relationship each parent has with the child, and more. Achieving a fair and beneficial custody arrangement can greatly impact the child’s emotional and psychological health; therefore, it’s often advised to navigate these bouts with the guidance of skilled child custody attorneys.

Your Scottsdale child custody attorney will help you sort out the important issues so you can put the focus back where it belongs. If you live in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tempe, Cave Creek, Paradise Valley, or the surrounding areas, our Scottsdale family law attorneys can help you with all your child custody issues, offering you legal advice no matter what stage of the Arizona divorce, legal separation, or paternity process you are in. Our Scottsdale divorce lawyers will help you get through the Arizona divorce process, and you can focus on your family.

How Is Child Custody Determined?

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If there was no domestic violence in the relationship and the couple can agree on all the major issues, they may be able to come to a fair custody (known in Arizona as Legal Decision-Making and Parenting Time) agreement on their own.

If so, they can present it in family court so the judge can sign off on it. If they can’t agree, the judge will likely order them to try to work out their issues in mediation before letting them bring the issues to trial.

The parents are going to be raising the children together, and it makes sense to try to get them on the same page as far as making decisions together in the best interests of their children.

Arizona law requires the courts to consider certain factors when deciding or approving a custody order, whether by agreement or trial. These include but are not limited to:

  • What do the children want? Depending on the age of the children, the court may take their wishes into consideration.
  • How do the children interact with the parent in question? With other children in that parent’s household?
  • What is the health of everyone involved? Some parents may have physical or mental health limitations that would affect their ability to parent.
  • Where do the parents live? Does one parent live in the home and/or community where the child is already established and comfortable?
  • How is the child doing in school?
  • Has there been meaningful contact between the child and the parent?
  • Has there been domestic violence or substance abuse?

In those cases, Arizona courts may act on the presumption that it is not in the best interests of the children to be around a parent who commits domestic violence in their presence or who is prone to alcohol or drug abuse.

Different Kinds of Custody

Since 2013, family courts in Arizona no longer refer to “custody issues.” Instead, they use these new legal terms, which focus more on the parents’ rights to make decisions for their children and the time they spend together:

Sole Legal Decision-Making Authority

This is what most people think about when they hear the term “legal custody.” Someone who has sole legal decision-making authority will not need to ask permission from the other parent before making important decisions, such as for health, education, or other important matters.

That does not mean that the parent will be able to keep that information secret, but just that changes can happen based entirely on one parent’s decisions.

Be sure to discuss sole legal decision-making with an experienced attorney, as courts will not take the abuse of the designation lightly, and abuse of the designation could create a need to change the designation.

Joint Legal Decision-Making Authority

This is the preferred kind of custody because it gets both parents to make decisions that benefit the child and makes both parents more involved in their children’s lives.

Physical Custody

This just refers to the parent who physically lives with the child, and Maricopa County courts no longer recognize this legal term. Instead, the time a child spends with a parent is referred to as parenting time.

Modification of Child Custody

When circumstances change, you may be able to get a child custody modification. It is not uncommon for one parent to move or for other events to occur, and modifying child custody will help the entire family.

There are other times when emergency child custody modification is necessary, such as when one parent is arrested or another traumatic event occurs, which could endanger the child.

In those cases, you should speak with your family law attorney immediately so you can get the matter into court as soon as possible.

Relocation and Child Custody

Moving your child out of state, or more than 100 miles within the state, can trigger what is known as a “Relocation” in Arizona Family Law. Of course, in a relocation case, there are two sides to the coin. One parent wants to move with the child, and the other parent wants to prevent the move. In order to relocate—or to prevent relocation—certain steps must be taken.  Failure to follow the correct procedures can have serious consequences.  Our firm has represented both parents seeking to relocate with the minor children and parents seeking to prevent relocation.

Moving out of state—or other relocations—with a minor child can be difficult, but it is not impossible. This can be a complicated area of Family Law because many factors can affect the Court’s decision. Contact us and schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys to discuss the necessary steps to take and how to present your case to the court.

Can You Move with Your Child?

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People often have to consider a move to another state or a move of significant distance for various reasons. Consider the following examples: 

  • Does a parent—or their spouse—need to relocate for work? Maybe their employer closed a location or merged with another company, and the employer is requesting that they transfer.
  • A parent or spouse has been offered a better employment opportunity in another state. This opportunity may present better pay, considerably better benefits, and/or room for advancement in the profession that could not be obtained in Arizona.
  • A parent has lost their job and is unable to find employment in Arizona. That parent needs to move to a place where they have financial support or family to help care for the child while they are looking for work or while they are starting a new career.
  • Parents have also sought relocation for personal health reasons or to care for a family member.

The specific reasons for relocation and the other parent’s involvement in your child’s life can have a major impact on your case and trigger certain procedures that must be complied with. Ultimately, the court focuses on the children’s best interests.  As such, the court will order what it believes is in the child’s best interests.

Call the child custody lawyers at BTL Family Law at 480-351-5654 or use our online form to schedule your consultation.

What Custody Laws Regulate Moving Out of State with a Child in Arizona?

When contemplating moving with your child (or wanting to prevent relocation), the first place to look is your parenting plan. Sometimes, parenting plans can have provisions specific to relocation. Next, look to A.R.S. § 25-408, which outlines the notice requirements, parenting time requirements, and burdens that must be met to succeed in a relocation case. Every case is unique and presents its own issues. Because of each case’s unique nuances, you should seek the guidance of an experienced family law attorney to help you navigate the process.

Can I Prevent the Other Parent from Moving Out of State with My Child?


The other side of a relocation case is when one parent wants to prevent the other from moving out of state—or further than the permitted distance—with the minor child. Often, parents receive either formal notice or informal notice of another parent’s intention or wish to relocate. If the parent fails to respond appropriately, it can significantly and negatively impact their case. Parents who become aware of the other parent’s intention or wish to relocate should promptly discuss the situation with an experienced family law attorney to ensure the appropriate documents are filed timely.

How Our Child Custody Attorneys Can Help

Child custody cases often come with layers of emotional, legal, and logistical complexities. As your Scottsdale child custody attorneys, we commit to offering you expert counsel, profound insights, and steadfast representation to navigate these complexities.

Detailed Analysis

Our team has an in-depth understanding of the factors courts consider in making custody decisions, such as each parent’s ability to provide, the child’s relationship with both parents, and more. We take the time to understand your unique family situation and craft a personalized approach focused on safeguarding your rights and your child’s best interests. Whether you’re reaching a child custody agreement during a divorce, looking to modify an existing custody arrangement, or dealing with custody conflicts, our team of empathetic yet proficient attorneys is ready to assist.


We are adept at mediating between disputing parties to reach a mutually agreeable plan, keeping in mind the best interests of the child. Amicable resolutions often result in the most sustainable plans, reducing future conflict. However, in scenarios where peaceful negotiations aren’t feasible, we don’t hesitate to litigate passionately in court to preserve your parental rights.

Legal Guidance 

To help ease your journey, we also offer guidance for co-parenting after divorce, ensuring a smooth transition for your children. Our team stands by your side, providing trusted advice and unwavering support every step of the way.

Contact a Scottsdale Child Custody Lawyer Now

Divorce lawyer Bryan K. Levy headshot
Scottsdale Child Custody Lawyer, Bryan K. Levy


Our Arizona family law firm has assisted many families in the Scottsdale and Phoenix area. We help with custody cases, child custody, spousal maintenance, and other family law issues.

If you need help with a family law issue or just want general information, please do not hesitate to call BTL Family Law today and speak to a Scottsdale divorce lawyer.

BTL Family Law – Scottsdale Office

8980 E Raintree Dr #110
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
P: (480) 307-6800

"I'm truly grateful for finding Randi and choosing BTL to represent me through my years of litigation in family court. I couldn't imagine going through all that without her compassion, dedication, and tenacity to ensure I always had the strongest possible case."
- C.P.
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