Understanding Child Custody Laws in Arizona
In Arizona, child custody laws recognize two main types: Physical and Legal Custody. Physical Custody pertains to the time a parent spends with their child, which can be classified as sole, primary, or joint. Legal Custody involves a parent’s rights to make decisions about their child’s health, education, and welfare, also categorized as sole, primary, or joint. Courts often designate a primary custodian, providing the other parent with a temporary custody schedule. The Court’s decision considers several factors, including the child’s preferences, each parent’s historical role in nurturing, and the parties’ future circumstances.
Tucson Child Custody Lawyers
Liberty, Audette, and Associates, a seasoned law firm in Tucson, Arizona, brings over 30 years of experience in family law, representing both fathers and mothers in family court. Their primary objective is to achieve fair solutions in divorce and mediation cases, particularly when children are involved. The firm advocates against completely denying visitation rights to one parent, believing that such actions are not beneficial for any party involved. Their approach is centered on finding balanced outcomes that serve the best interests of the families they represent.
Type of Custody
There are two main types of legal custody of a child, Legal and Physical.
- Legal Custody
Legal custody involves the right and responsibility to make significant decisions for a minor child, such as those related to health and education. Typically, both parents maintain legal custody unless there are substantial reasons to rule otherwise. Possessing legal custody is possible even for a parent without physical custody.
- Physical Custody
Physical custody pertains to where the child lives and can be a highly contentious issue in divorce proceedings. The custodial parent often has more time with the child and is likely to receive child support. This remains true in cases of joint custody.
Legal custody allows parents to make important decisions for their child, while physical custody determines where the child will reside. Both forms of custody play a significant role in the child’s wellbeing and the dynamic of parental relationships post-divorce. It’s essential to approach these decisions with the child’s best interests in mind, ensuring a stable and supportive environment for their growth and development.
What Determines Custody
Custody determination, ultimately decided by the courts, can also be resolved through mediation agreements between parents. Factors considered include the historical role of each parent in nurturing the child, future prospects and stability of the parents, personality and behavior of each party, and the child’s preferences. These considerations help ensure that custody decisions align with the best interests of the child, balancing past involvement with future potential for providing a supportive environment.
- Historical Role: Evaluation of each parent’s nurturing role from the child’s birth.
- Future Prospects: Consideration of each parent’s future stability and situation.
- Personality and Behavior: Analysis of each parent’s personality and behavioral traits.
- Child’s Preference: Taking into account the child’s own wishes and preferences.
These points ensure that custody arrangements are made in the best interest of the child, balancing past parental involvement with future caregiving potential.
Strategies for child custody
At Liberty, Audette, and Associates, the focus is on finding equitable solutions in child custody disputes, rather than “winning.” Mediation is emphasized as it allows for mutually agreeable resolutions that consider the wellbeing of the children. The firm acknowledges the Pima County Conciliation Court’s mediation services for various family court cases, highlighting their approach to develop parenting plans, conduct safety screenings, and offer bilingual services. This mediation process is mandatory in Pima County for certain family court disputes. For more information, visit the Pima County Conciliation Court Mediation website.
A Collaborative Path Forward
Liberty, Audette, and Associates advocate for a collaborative approach to child custody, emphasizing mediation over litigation. Recognizing that the concept of ‘winning’ is counterproductive in family disputes, they strive for solutions that benefit all parties, especially the children. They leverage the resources of the Pima County Conciliation Court to assist in creating fair parenting plans and ensuring safe, balanced outcomes. This method underscores the importance of considering the child’s best interest in every decision. For more detailed guidance, the Pima County Conciliation Court’s mediation services offer invaluable support.