Custody Attorney in ChandlerSchedule a Consultation
Child custody is one of the most critical – and contested – parts of a divorce case in Arizona. An experienced Chandler family law attorney can provide skilled and knowledgeable legal representation during a sensitive child custody matter. Clients have trusted Guymon Law with their Chandler child custody cases for years. Our attorneys can help you overcome challenges, obstacles and overwhelming stress during this difficult time in your life. Request your consultation with one of our family law attorneys today to learn more.
How Can a Child Custody Lawyer Help?
With so much at stake in a child custody case, it is imperative to protect your family by hiring an experienced and aggressive family law attorney. During a divorce or legal separation case in Chandler, it is up to you or your attorney to argue for the custody arrangement that you desire and to support your argument with compelling evidence and testimony.
An attorney can help you with every stage of a custody case, from mediating between you and your spouse in an attempt to avoid a trial to representing you before a judge, if necessary. An attorney can help you go beyond the basics of child custody and find innovative solutions to allow you and your child to successfully make it through this life-changing event.
Chandler Child Custody Terminology
It is important to understand the definitions of Arizona’s child custody terms as a parent going through a divorce or separation. The legal terms used often vary from state to state. Learning these terms in Arizona can make it easier to navigate the legal process.
In Arizona, the term custody is actually a misnomer. Arizona refers instead to legal decision-making and parenting time. Legal decision-making involves major life decisions about medical, educational and religious issues for your child. Parenting time refers to the amount of time the child spends with each parent.
Legal decision-making can either be joint or sole. Joint legal decision-making means that both parents must agree on an issue before making a decision for a child. A parent with sole legal decision-making can make a decision without consulting the other parent.
In most cases, both parents are awarded joint legal decision-making. In certain cases, the court may award sole legal decision-making if there is a legitimate concern about domestic violence, child abuse, substance abuse, or other serious problems with the other parent.
There is also a hybrid form of joint legal decision-making called final decision-making authority. If one parent has final decision-making authority, they must consult with the other parent before making a decision, but ultimately have the ability to make a final decision. In cases where the parents are unable to agree on important medical or educational issues, it may be necessary to award one parent final decision-making authority.
Parenting time is the specific schedule of time that a child spends with each parent. The law requires the court to maximize parenting time between the parents to the extent possible. The overarching concern for the court is whether the parenting time schedule is in a child’s best interests. The court considers a variety of factors in deciding how much parenting time to award each parent.
In many cases, both parents exercise an equal amount of time with the children. If there are serious concerns about the other parent, parenting time may be restricted or supervised for a period of time.
How Is Child Custody Determined in Chandler?
Parents always have the option to agree between themselves about parenting time. If they cannot agree on a parenting schedule – including who has the kids on holidays and special occasions – the matter will go to the courts. Custody of minor children in a divorce case does not automatically go to the mother. This is a common misconception. Instead, parenting time is a decision that is made by a judge in a divorce trial only after he or she carefully analyzes the situation to determine what arrangement is best for the child.
A judge will look at many factors when making a custody determination, including:
- The relationship the child has with either parent.
- Which parent has been the child’s primary caregiver during the marriage.
- Each parent’s physical, emotional and psychological fitness.
- How connected the child is to his or her other relatives, home, school and community.
- The child’s wishes, if the child is mature enough to make this decision.
- Which parent is more likely to allow the other parent to have meaningful and continuing contact with the child after the divorce.
- Whether there are factors that could endanger the child with one parent, such as allegations of domestic violence or child abuse.
The overarching consideration in a Chandler child custody matter is what is in the child’s best interests. A judge will determine an arrangement that best fulfills the child’s emotional needs, protects his or her physical health and safety, and allows for normal child development. It is the general consensus that a child does best with contact with both parents. However, a parent may lose custody if he or she presents a danger to the child. It is possible to request a modification after the courts grant a child custody order, but only if there is a significant change in circumstances from the date that the order was decreed.
Get Help With Your Child Custody Case in Chandler | Contact Guymon Law
If you are going through a divorce or legal separation with children, protect your family by hiring a highly qualified family law attorney at Guymon Law to represent you. We understand child custody, visitation, parental rights and child support laws in Arizona and how to navigate them. Our attorneys customize their legal services to achieve the best possible results for each client.
Find out how we can help you and your family during an initial consultation at our local law office in Chandler, Arizona. We also offer consultations over the phone. Call (480) 680-8823 or submit our online query form today for more information.