When we speak of “child custody” in Arizona, we’re really talking about the authority to make major decisions regarding a child’s life, such as choices about religion, medical care, and education. Parents can share joint custody which entitles both of them to have an equal say in the decisions concerning their children. One parent can be given sole custody which permits them the right to make decisions unilaterally. Parenting time refers to the time the child spends with each parent.
Often, parents are able to agree upon a custody arrangement in a divorce, and courts will typically honor such agreements. This is ideal, because parents know more about their children and their needs than a court possibly can, and parents have the flexibility to create an arrangement that works best for their family’s needs. If parents cannot agree, even after mediation of the issue, the decision is in the court’s hands. Arizona courts decide custody based on “the best interests of the child.”
Arizona considers it to be in a child’s best interests to have a strong relationship with both parents. In support of this public policy, Arizona law tends to favor parenting plans where children spend equal time with each parent. Our state also prefers parents to share custody and share in the decisions regarding their children. There are situations where joint custody and equal parenting time orders are inappropriate and the Court will make alternate orders based on the particular circumstances of a case.
Representation for Your Arizona Custody Matter
At Shaffer Family Law, we understand that a custody dispute can be the most stressful part of a divorce or separation, and we are committed to helping you through it. We assist you in evaluating your family’s needs and how best to approach your particular facts to achieve your goals. We provide information about the process and the likely outcomes of various choices you may make, and we offer guidance and advice that will assist you in making the best decisions concerning your children.
Due to custody issues being so vital to individuals in a divorce or other family law proceeding, Arizona custody matters can be very intimidating for parents. We understand how important it is to our clients that we be accessible to them and responsive to their questions. We give you not only legal representation and information, but the support you need to make it through an unfamiliar and often daunting legal process.
Our extensive experience in this area has taught us that reaching an agreement on custody issues is almost always better for our clients, and especially for their children. Sometimes, however, the opposing party is unwilling to reach a reasonable agreement that is in the children’s best interests. In those cases, we will take the matter to trial so that we can advocate as aggressively as necessary to protect the rights of our clients and their children.
Child Custody Advocates in Chandler and the Surrounding Communities
The Chandler attorneys of Shaffer Family Law represent clients in Arizona child custody cases in Maricopa County and the surrounding communities. Contact Shaffer Family Law online or (480) 470-3030 today to discuss how we may be of help in your case.