Legal Counsel for Your Custody Battle
One of the most emotional aspects of family law is making decisions regarding the custody of children. Your children are more precious than any other property or assets that might need to be divided in a divorce and each parent’s interests go well beyond simple financial needs. At Skupin Law Group, PLLC, we understand how much stress the legal process of determining custody can cause, and want to do everything in our power to ensure that you can reach the best possible resolution for you and your children.
A recent law instated in Arizona, A.R.S. § 25-401, officially terms the concept of child custody in divorce cases as “Legal Decision Making,” effective as of January 1, 2013. Legal decision making is determined by the court and is defined as the legal right of a parent to make decisions on behalf of their children.
This includes the right to make decisions concerning:
- Religious associations
- Educational paths and supplements
- Participation in extra-curricular activities
- Mental health treatment
Essentially, this law addresses the legal custody of the parents over their children. Legal custody can be sole or joint custody, depending on the circumstances and the judge’s determination of each parent’s suitability. If the parents are given joint legal decision making rights, then it is their responsibility to discuss whatever topics may arise before a choice is made. In legal decision making, neither parent is viewed as having a superior right over the other, unless proven otherwise with legitimate and undeniable evidence.
How is Child Custody Determined in Arizona?
If you and a co-parent are able to come to an agreement on matters regarding custody, the next step is to present a parenting plan to the court and have it approved. However, if you are unable to agree on the issue, the matter will go to trial where a judge will decide. Thus, it is important to understand how child custody is determined so that you can be prepared to fight for your parental rights.
Our team of attorneys is highly adept in divorce and family law, and we know what the courts look for when deciding legal and physical custody. Additionally, we can recognize when a judge is treating you unjustly; for example, the court is not allowed to show preferential treatment to either parent based on gender, race, or sexual orientation. Rather, they are to base their decision on the best interests of the children.
The court will look at several factors:
- Each parent’s financial standing
- Each parent’s role in raising the child
- The relationship that each parent has with the child
- The best Interests of the child
- Each parent’s criminal history
- If the parents have a history of drug or alcohol abuse
- The future prospects for each parent
- The adjustments that the child will have to make
- The child’s preference if they are of age to give their opinion
- The mental and physical health of the child
- The mental and physical health of each parent
- Each parent’s style of discipline and reinforcement
The courts prefer to award joint physical custody so that the child can spend quality time with each parent. However, in cases where only one parent is awarded physical custody, then the noncustodial parent is typically awarded regular visitation time with the child.
Top Family Law Attorney With a Superb Avvo Rating of 9.9
Determining child custody can be complicated and intimidating, which is why having the assistance of a highly qualified legal professional is so critical. At Skupin Law Group, PLLC, we will do whatever is necessary to protect your rights as a parent while fighting for the best interest of your child. With over a decade of experience, we have been able to assist countless clients in fighting for custody and we have a long history of case victories to show for it. Attorney Mark Skupin has a 9.9 Superb Avvo rating and serves on the Family Law Section of the Maricopa County Bar Association Executive Board.
Searching for a lawyer for a child custody case in Phoenix, AZ?
As you embark on the divorce process, it is vital that you are aware of the child custody options that are available to you. Our firm can explain the parenting time and visitation guidelines to you and help guide you throughout each stage of your case. We are available to answer any questions that you may have and you can read about common child custody questions in our divorce and family law blog.
We can help you establish a child custody arrangement that is in the best interests of your children. When children are involved in a divorce case, it heightens the emotions and deepens the complications of the process. We are here to offer you the legal support that you, your family, and your case deserve. Our firm offers a free initial consultation, so sit down with us today and find out how we can help you!
Contact our firm to speak with a child custody lawyer today!