Are you a parent who is going through a divorce?
If so, you’re not alone, and many parents face a child custody battle during their divorce process. According to the latest census data, over 24 million U.S. children live in a single-parent household. The best thing you can do for yourself and your child is to know the laws and get a great legal team on your side.
Keep reading for more information on the Arizona divorce and child custody process.
What Should I Know About Divorce and Child Custody?
When you’re a parent who is going through a divorce, there are a lot of steps to take to make sure you and your former spouse have a custody agreement that works for everyone involved.
Arizona follows the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. This act was designed to make child custody laws in the United States more uniform and prevent conflicts between parents in different states.
Here is a brief breakdown of the most important things you need to know about Arizona divorce and child custody laws:
1. There are Different Types of Custody
The term “custody” can refer to legal custody or physical custody and Arizona courts recognize both forms. Legal custody refers to any parent who has the right to make essential decisions for the child. These decisions include where the child will go to school and what medical care the child will receive.
Physical custody refers to where the child will live. In Arizona, it’s possible for one or both of the child’s parents to have legal or physical custody.
2. Both Types of Custody Can be Sole or Joint
Legal and physical custody can be granted to either parent or shared between both parents. If custody is shared, this is called a joint-custody agreement. If only one parent has rights, it’s a sole-custody agreement.
3. How the Court Determines Custody in Arizona
Parents don’t always agree on who should have custody of the child, so sometimes a judge will need to make the final ruling. If this happens, you should know what information the courts will take into account to decide who gets legal and physical custody of the child.
Some things a court will take into consideration when deciding on custody include:
- The parent and child’s wishes
- Employment situation and who has more time to care for the child
- Geographic location
- Past criminal charges against parents
- The mental and physical health of the parents
- History of past abuse or neglect
4. You’ll Have to Create a Visitation Schedule
Arizona courts require that parents agree on a parenting plan. This plan is a legal agreement that breaks down where the child will spend major holidays and other details that are critical to helping a child make a smooth transition into splitting their time between parents.
This document will determine who can visit the child (and when), when grandparents can visit and how the child will be transported between parents. This schedule is crucial to avoid conflict down the road.
Get an Expert Legal Team on Your Side
Divorce and child custody battles can get extremely complicated, and the average person won’t be able to navigate the legal system on their own. To make the process easier for you and your child, you need an expert legal team on your side.
We understand that child custody battles can be difficult for both the parents and the children. We’ll get to know your unique situation and help you reach a custody agreement quickly.
For a free consultation with one of the family law experts at Reppucci and Roeder call (480) 300-6012 today!