When parents are going through a divorce or unmarried parents disagree about what is best for their children, they will go to great lengths to protect them. These cases can be hard on everyone involved, especially the children.
Our goal is to help your family get to a better place than where you were when your first came to us and to make sure that any outcome represents the best interests of the children.
Child custody determinations occur in matters of divorce and paternity and go far beyond just where a child will physically spend time. In Arizona we separate the concept of custody into two separate categories. First we consider the residential “parenting time” agreement. In other words, the time each parent spends with his/her child. Second we determine whether the rights and responsibilities to make major decisions concerning the child should be granted to one or to both parents. We call these rights “legal decision-making.” Such decisions include:
- Authorization for nonemergency health care
- Choice of school
- Choice of religious upbringing
- Consent to obtain a driver's license
- Consent to adopt, consent to marry, consent to enter the armed forces, and many others
The determination of whether these decisions are made by one parent with sole legal decision-making or by both parents with shared legal decision-making is based on the best interests of the child. Custody may be determined by the court or through the agreement of both parties.
In our experience, we have found that agreements reached amicably by parents are preferred, as it leaves the parents in control of these important decisions rather than relying on a judge to settle differences. However, as skilled trial attorneys who have seen great success in court on behalf of Arizona parents, we are willing and able to take cases to trial to achieve the best results for our clients.
We bring a wealth of experience and resources to child custody cases.