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Child Custody Attorney Scottsdale AZ

In Arizona Child Custody is decided can be the single the most significant issue in any child’s life. This sets the tone and the path of expectancy and expectations for your child or your children for the rest of their lives. Notice I did not include you, the parents. It is not about you. It is about them. The sooner a parent realizes that the better off the children will be. I know this sounds harsh. But the sooner parents understand that, the better. Right now in Arizona, the Child Custody trend that I have seen as an attorney specializing in child custody is that judges prefer 50/50 parenting time arrangement. I know many Mothers still have a position that the Father can’t do this or can’t do that because they (the Mothers) were the caregivers, but trust me, when push comes to shove, those men, real men, and Fathers, they can and do step up to the plate. I know this for a fact. I have that Dad. I know they can do it and I know they actually do it. With that said, not all fathers or mothers can and you and your lawyer should be ready to fight for what is best for your children.

Being prepared to walk into court and argue that you are the only one that is capable of parenting because you are the Mother or Father, well, you are on the wrong side of the law and the current social trend these days. Father’s are challenging the “they can’t parent” stereotype every day and they are successful and gaining more and more momentum in the public eye. The worst thing that any attorney can advise you, as a Mother or Father, to do is to alienate the other parent, especially, the Father.

This is not meant to be one-sided for Mothers or Fathers, this is just my experience in life and as a Child Custody Lawyer in Scottsdale.

I believe it is in everyone’s best interest that parents can come together to decide for themselves, to make joint decisions. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for parents to put their own issues aside and work in the best interest of their child or children together.

There are times though when that will absolutely not work and should not work. When you cannot work together, is when you need the right legal counsel. Without it, you can completely torpedo your case. Without an objective perspective, and without a check on your own thoughts, current emotions on child-rearing, you can still destroy your case. If there is a real issue, then you need a compassionate family law attorney that understands that the child’s needs are paramount to your own, that your concerns are valid, and then you should be in good hands if you are in the hands of a capable lawyer that can litigate (take your case to trial) the issues before the Court. Judges are smart and they can read you like a book, so if your intentions are disingenuous, they will see right through you immediately. If you have an intelligent attorney, they will advise you of the same.

Do not get suckered into a hard sell by lawyers, where you should get what you want just because you think what you believe is right is how it should be with regard to your children. Any litigation is never a right to certainty. Always remember that, especially when it comes to children. The variables are human and complex and that includes the legal system. There is no magic formula and any law firm that tells you as much is not telling you the truth.

When you sit down with an attorney, you should assess whether they ask you the right questions and understand your situation and then fully understand your children’s best interest. Anyone who leads you to think otherwise, and just says what you say goes when it comes to child custody litigation, is not doing you a good service.

Any attorney worth their salt will tell you what are the pros and the cons of your case and reasonable expectations. They will not make promises or oversell you on anything, especially when it comes to your children. Be honest with your lawyer. It’s best, to be honest with your Scottsdale child custody lawyer. Yes, I said that twice. They should absolutely give you a worst-case and best-case scenario. If they do not, give you those two things when it comes to your children, get up and walk out immediately. And I mean immediately. If you would like to schedule a time to sit down and talk with a child custody lawyer please contact us.

Child Custody FAQ’s

  • What is the difference between legal custody and physical custody?
  • Can I get full legal and physical custody of my child(ren)?
  • What is a parenting plan?
  • What happens if my spouse and I cannot agree about child custody?
  • What is a child custody evaluation?
  • On what basis does a judge decide child custody?
  • Can I travel outside of Arizona and take my child(ren) with me?
  • Can I relocate my child(ren) to another state?
  • Can we create our own child custody agreement?
  • Do I need to take the parent information course?
  • Does my child get to decide which parent to live with?
  • Can a grandparent or stepparent be awarded custody in Arizona?

 

Answers to Child Custody FAQ’s

  • What is the difference between legal custody and physical custody?

When parents have legal custody of their children, they can make legal decisions for their children. This includes healthcare, education and religious worship.  Parents can also have sole or joint physical custody. Physical custody designates where and with whom your children will live.

  • Can I get full legal and physical custody of my child(ren)?

There are some circumstances where one parent might receive full physical or legal custody of their child(ren), however, typically this is not the case.  Typically, both parents have joint legal and physical custody.

  • What is a parenting plan?

A parenting plan and schedule is part of the child custody orders.  It sets forth the terms of access that both parents agree to abide by.

  • What happens if my spouse and I cannot agree about child custody?

If you and your spouse cannot agree on legal and/or physical custody of your child(ren), either a mediation can be scheduled to resolve disagreements or a hearing will be scheduled, and a judge will determine custody.

  • What is a child custody evaluation?

A child custody evaluation is typically conducted by a mental health professional and becomes necessary in divorce proceedings when a parent is accused of domestic violence, substance abuse, child abuse, or in cases where there is high conflict between the two parents.  

  • On what basis does a judge decide child custody?

The judge will determine child custody based on the best interests of the child.  Some of the factors that the judge considers are the child(ren)’s wishes, the parent’s wishes, history of domestic abuse, which parent has provided primary care, the mental and physical health of all involved individuals.  

  • Can I travel outside of Arizona and take my child(ren) with me?

Yes, if you have written consent from the child(ren)’s other parent.  

  • Can I relocate my child(ren) to another state?

If one parent is wanting to relocate to another state or move 100 miles or more from their current residence (and the parents share joint physical or legal custody), the relocating parent must provide the other parent with 45 days advance notice. The non-moving parent then can petition the court to prevent the relocation.  If the non-moving parent approves the relocation, the moving parent may move with their children. If the non-moving parent does not approve, a hearing will be scheduled, and the judge will make a decision based on the best interests of the child(ren) involved.

  • Can we create our own child custody agreement?

Yes, if both parents agree on a child custody arrangement, they can submit it to the court via their parenting plan.

  • Do I need to take the parent information course?

Yes, all new divorcing parents of minor children and unmarried parents with custody disputes must attend a parent education program.

  • Does my child get to decide which parent to live with?

A judge will always do what is in the best interest of the child(ren).  He/she will always consider the child(ren)’s preference of where they want to live.  As a child gets older, their input usually carries more weight with a judge’s decision.

  • Can a grandparent or stepparent be awarded custody in Arizona?

Yes, in some situations a judge may find it necessary for a grandparent to be granted custody.

 

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