Scottsdale Child Custody
Our primary goal is to assist you with resolving your family law issue efficiently and affordably while protecting your interests. Our attorneys exercise a no-nonsense style of practice and are upfront and straightforward about the strength of your positions so you can make appropriate and informed decisions about your family law matter.
Child Custody Attorneys 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 break up is having on the children.
Your Scottsdale child custody attorney will help you to 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.
We can offer you legal advice no matter what stage of the Arizona divorce, legal separation, or paternity process you are in.
Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced Child Custody Attorney Today
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How Is Child Custody Determined?
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.
Whether by agreement or trial, Arizona law requires the courts to consider certain factors when deciding or approving a custody order. 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? 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 it makes both parents more involved in their children’s lives.
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.
Contact a Scottsdale Child Custody Lawyer Now
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 Burggraff Tash Levy PLC today and speak to a Scottsdale divorce lawyer.