Phoenix Child Custody Lawyer
If two people have a minor child or children together, child custody is an important issue. It is an important issue during a divorce and between parents where there is no marriage. When couples split up, the children can be affected. This is particularly true since otherwise normal people may be driven to act out while they’re in a highly emotional state.
Best Interest of the Child
The purpose of a Phoenix child custody lawyer is to help the parents do what is in the best interest of the child. In fact, that is the standard that the court uses to determine child custody cases. Of course, it is best for parents to work together when it comes to their child and to not withhold the child or try to undermine the relationship. Phoenix child custody lawyers help parents come to an amicable and fair child custody agreement that can be taken before the judge to be reviewed before it is signed and put into effect.
However, there are times when one or both parents are angry or upset and don’t want to work with the other parent. Lawyers can help the couple discuss and negotiate the contentious issues. If necessary, hearings can be scheduled with the court. The judge could appoint guardian ad litem to represent what is in the best interest of the child. The judge could also make decisions that neither party is particularly happy with.
Different Types of Child Custody
Child custody is generally divided into physical custody and legal custody. Then, there are several types of child custody that rely on how physical and legal custody are combined. After you finish reading this overview on the different types of child custody, contact a Phoenix child custody lawyer to get help with your case. This is important even if you and the other parent are getting along. Your lawyer plays an important role. They ensure that your rights as a parent are protected.
When a parent is awarded physical custody, it means that is the parent that the child will reside with most of the time. When a parent is awarded legal custody, it means that the parent can make decisions related to education, medical school, religious training, etc. Both physical custody and legal custody can be equally split between the parents. One parent may be given primary physical custody while both parents are awarded legal custody (meaning both parents can make decisions on behalf of the child).
When physical custody is split equally (or almost equally) between the two parents, it is known as joint custody. With joint custody, legal custody may or may not be equally split as well. The child will spend an equal (or almost equal) amount of time which each parent. This often works best if the parent resides in the same school district (or if one parent is willing to drive the child to and from school).
Sole custody means that one parent is awarded both physical and legal custody. The other parent may receive visitation rights. Those visitation rights may be liberal in nature or they may be restricted or require supervision.
Parent Refuses to Follow the Child Custody Order or Visitation Schedule
First, talk with your Phoenix child custody lawyer about the steps you should take if the other parent refuses to follow the child custody order or the visitation schedule. This potential issue highlights the reason why it is so important to have a child custody agreement approved and signed off on by the court. An agreement just between the parents seems acceptable, but unless the court approves a child custody order, both parents have the same amount of legal rights to the child.
If there is a court order in place, a Phoenix child custody lawyer can file a motion with the court on your behalf. The other parent may be held in contempt, they may have to pay a fine, or they could be sentenced to jail time for disobeying the order.
Both Parents May Qualify as Primary Custodian
The State of Arizona does not play favorites when it comes to appointing a parent as primary custodian. This means that both mothers and fathers, regardless of whether they were married, could be named as primary custodian. However, the court will look to the best interests of the child because the primary custodian must be able to properly care for and provide for the child.
Unless the court rules otherwise, both parents have the right to parenting time with their child, child custody, being notified of an adoption, and possible child support.
Child Relocation Is a Serious Issue
If you have sole custody of the child, you do not have the right to relocate them. You must inform the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent may decide to consent to the move and work with you to establish a new visitation schedule. The non-custodial parent may also address the issue with family court and tell the judge that they do not want you to relocate with the child.
Regardless of how child custody was arranged, talk with a Phoenix child custody lawyer before you move away with your child.
Learn More About Child Custody in Arizona
As a parent, you have rights to your child. Make sure that you protect your rights as a parent by hiring a qualified Phoenix child custody lawyer to represent you. Call today for a free confidential consultation. Let our experience work for you.