A Practical Guide to Child Custody in Arizona in 2023

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If you are a parent in Arizona who is facing a custody battle, you may be feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about what the future holds. You are not alone – child custody disputes can be incredibly complex and emotional. In this article, we will provide a practical guide to child custody in Arizona in 2023. We will discuss the different types of custody arrangements that are available, as well as the factors that will be considered by the court when making a decision about custody.

What is child custody in Arizona?

Child custody is the legal term used to describe when a parent has the right and responsibility to make decisions about their child’s upbringing and care. In most cases, child custody involves both physical and legal custody of the child, with physical custody referring to where the child will live, and legal custody referring to who will have decision-making authority over things like schooling, healthcare, religion, and other important aspects of a child’s life. Child custody laws can be complex, but generally speaking, parents are awarded either sole or joint (shared) physical or legal custody of their children.

The Different Types of Child Custody Arrangements 

There are several different types of child custody arrangements that are available in Arizona, each with its own pros and cons. Some of the most common arrangements include:

  1. Sole legal custody – In a sole legal custody arrangement, one parent is granted exclusive decision-making rights for all major matters related to the child, such as education and healthcare decisions. This can be beneficial for parents who have very different parenting styles or disagree on key issues related to their child’s upbringing.
  2. Joint legal custody – With joint legal custody, both parents share responsibility for making important decisions about their child’s well-being. While this type of arrangement can place more burdens on busy parents who need to consult with each other frequently regarding various aspects of their child’s life, it can also be beneficial for building cooperation between parents who need to work together for the well-being of their child.
  3. Sole physical custody – In a sole physical custody arrangement, one parent is solely responsible for providing a home and care for their child on a day-to-day basis. This type of arrangement might be chosen by parents who are unable to co-parent due to serious conflict or by parents whose schedules make it difficult for them to share parenting responsibilities equally.
  4. Joint physical custody – In a joint physical custody arrangement, both parents spend significant amounts of time with their children and take responsibility for providing stable homes and daily care. This type of arrangement tends to be favored by many judges, as it is generally believed to be in a child’s best interests, since it allows them to maintain close relationships with both parents.
  5. Split physical custody – With split physical custody, some children may live primarily with one parent, while others live primarily with the other parent. This type of arrangement can be especially beneficial for families who have multiple children and who want to ensure that each child maintains meaningful relationships with both parents, even if they are not able to spend equal amounts of time together.

Child Custody: What the Court Considers

  • There are many different factors that will be considered by the court when making a decision about child custody. Some of these important factors include the parents’ ability to provide for the child financially, their level of involvement in the child’s life, and whether or not either parent has a history of abuse or neglect.

  • Another key factor that is often taken into consideration is each parent’s work schedule and availability to care for the child. This is especially important if one parent works an unusual or inflexible schedule, such as overnight shifts at a hospital or unpredictable travel arrangements due to their job.

  • The court may also consider other special circumstances, such as parents who have separated custody of multiple children from previous relationships, extended family members who can provide a support system, or parents who have different religious beliefs and practices. Ultimately, the court will make their decision based on what they believe is in the best interests of the child.

While there are many factors that may be considered when making a custody decision, it is important for parents to remember that ultimately, what matters most is the well-being and happiness of their child. By focusing on the needs of their child above all else, parents can put themselves in the best position possible to obtain custody and ensure that their child has everything they need for a happy and healthy childhood.​

As a parent in Arizona, it is important to be aware of the child custody laws in your state. By understanding the different types of custody arrangements that are available, as well as the factors that will be considered by the court when making a decision about custody, you can be better prepared for what to expect during a child custody dispute. If you have any questions about child custody in Arizona, please do not hesitate to contact an experienced family law attorney.

Are You Looking for a Family Law Attorney You Can Trust?

The attorneys at GillespieShields are well-versed in a variety of different legal fields, ranging from family law to civil suits, employment disputes and probate cases. Although we specialize in several areas of practice, our greatest passion is family law. We believe in giving families peace of mind no matter their situation, and we fight hard to maintain that peace. Whether you’re filing for dissolution or divorce, determining custody of your children, or thinking about adopting children, our experienced attorneys are here to help you every step of the way.  During our private, one-on-one consultation, we’ll take the necessary time to answer and and all of our questions surrounding Arizona’s family laws, your family’s unique situation, and the possible court outcomes. Contact us today for your consultation!



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