You may be searching for child custody lawyers or attorneys in Scottsdale, Moshier Family Law can help! When divorce involves children, Moshier Family Law will fight to protect your children’s future by maximizing custody and child support payments.
Child Custody may be the most common argument between couples going through family crisis or a marriage dissolution. But child custody disputes are not only for divorcing couples. This subject is not only complicated to each parent or guardian but is even complicated within the legal process. Custody is actually physical and legal custody. In January 2013, our legislators gave new names to custody: the parenting time given to each person involved and the ability to make legal decisions for the child in question.
It is possible to have sole legal decision-making with a 50%/50% parenting time schedule, and it is possible to have joint legal decision-making with a parenting time schedule that seriously restricts one parent’s time.
We care about the delicate effect that divorce has on parents and their children. Our knowledgeable guardianship and child custody attorneys work with you to receive the maximum amount of custody that the law allows.
In Arizona, the court system leans towards awarding each parent 50% parenting time in order to allow the child to be raised by both parents equally. This does not mean that just by showing up to a courthouse that you will be granted a 50%/50% schedule. It is a common misconception in Arizona that every parent will automatically be awarded 50/50. The judge can award one parent more or less time on a case by case basis. For mothers and fathers alike, this means your life will be scrutinized to determine parenting time. If you want a relationship with your child, there are important factors each judge has to consider. The judge will consider factors such as your involvement in your child’s life. Another important factor is your mental and physical health. Your living situation and your child’s environment will be considered.
Acquiring Parenting Plans & Child Custody Arrangements in Scottsdale
An essential element in divorce when you have children is a court enforced joint parenting plan. This is a legal order that details the sharing joint custody of the child(ren) post-Decree.
If parents can’t cooperatively come to an agreement on a joint parenting plan, the court will enforce its own that each parent will be required to follow in regard to the child(ren)’s best interests. The law dictates that the best interest of the child should be prioritized above any other type of concern. Judges are influenced by statutes to maximize the custody for each parent. The law is gender impartial, there’s no priority for a Father or Mother, if each one is found suitable.
Joint parenting plans allow 50%/50% custody protocols absent parental fitness concerns (like drug or alcohol, domestic violence, criminal history,) being proven by the other parent. If the other parent is issuing threats to take 100% custody, without your parental fitness being challenged, our attorneys can stop your spouse and get you the 50% child custody you’re entitled to.
For more information about child custody in Arizona, there are a number of statutes that address the factors a court has to consider. See the “best interest factors” statute here. If you want to read more about the factors a judge can consider in granting sole legal decision-making click here. For information on the statute concerning parenting plans, click here.
Child custody and legal decision-making issues are typically resolved most easily through collaborative process. This means that both parents will “buy in” to the agreements they reach. Parents don’t cooperate as easily when they are told by a judge what to do. For more information about collaborative process, click here.
Family courts decide custody according to the best interests of the child, including:
- The child’s desires
- The age of the child
- Each of the parent’s desires
- The child adjustment to home, community and school
- History of drug or alcohol abuse, child abuse or domestic violence
- Whether or not the parents have offered primary care for the child in the past
- The mental and physical health of everyone involved
- The parent-child relationship with each parent
- Each parent’s openness to foster a substantial and significant relationship with the other parent
Protecting your children’s future and their standing after divorce is essential to their sense of assurance. Moshier Family Law is a professional in Scottsdale and Phoenix at acquiring the most reasonable joint parenting plans and child-support arrangements possible. We collaborate with parents and professionals to provide practical, child-focused arrangements for effective joint-parenting and child support scheduling. When mediation or collaboration isn’t an option, we employ litigators who prepare your case with a creative and careful method.
Legal Custody, Physical Custody, Joint & Sole Custody
It is vital to know the difference between the types of custody when dealing with parenting time concerns. The types of child custody include:
Making Legal Decisions
Legal custody allows the parent to make decisions on the medical health of their child(re). Legal decision making means you make decisions about their medical care, personal care, religious education, schooling, etc.
Making Joint Legal Decisions
Simply because you are awarded some or all parenting time does not always mean you can make big life decisions. If you have joint legal decision-making you need to consult the other parent on medical, health and religion choices. A judge will decide your right to legal decision-making if you go to court. If you stay out of court, your rights can become the subject of an agreement in mediation or Collaborative Process.
Joint legal decision making enables each parent to make these kinds of decisions for their children. It is possible for each parent to have a joint legal custody agreement without also splitting up their parenting time.
In physical custody you decide where the child(ren) will live, as well as which parent the child or children will live with most of the time. Joint physical child custody is typically granted unless one parent is considered to be unfit.
Joint Child Custody
In joint child custody, the time will be shared between the parents in a way that is compatible with the child(ren)’sbest interests.
Joint Custody — Awards joint legal decision-making authority for each parent presuming the parents can each agree on issues concerning the child’s upbringing, if disagreements come up, the parents can talk to a mediator, a parenting coordinator or head back to Court.
Sole Custody and Legal Decision Making
In Sole Legal Decision Making, one parent has final say in decision making. The other parent can or may not have visitation, but won’t have custodial rights, and won’t be allowed to make final legal decisions.
Child Custody Modifications
Child custody arrangements can be altered or modified to reflect any new circumstances. Whether you’re replying to a request from your former spouse or you are the one wanting to alter the arrangements, it is a good idea to talk with a child custody attorney to help you throughout the process. Moshier Law is knowledgeable in assisting parents with child custody concerns in Scottsdale, Arizona. Usually once child custody orders are issued by a judge, you can’t modify those orders for at least 1 year absent except under certain circumstances.
Child Relocation (Interstate or International)
When parents want to relocate with a child, the judge takes the “best interest factors” into account as well as additional factors as required by the “Arizona Relocation Statute,” A.R.S. §25-408. It is very difficult to make the case for a “move away” in Arizona. When you have an involved parent and that parent is contributing to a child’s well-being and qualify of life in a meaningful and positive way, even if the parent is less than perfect, there is a presumption that remaining in Arizona is in the child’s best interests.
Initial Consultation With Our Child Custody Lawyers
Do I need bring anything to my consultation? No, we will offer an outline that details what we require to devise the right plan to win your case. Answers to the below questions will help us determine what type of custody you will get.
Is there any evidence of abuse or domestic violence? How far is each parent from the children’s activities and school? Are each of the parents actively involved in the child’s medical care, education, and other activities? Has just one parent taken on the role? Does one or each parent have extended family that live close that decreasing parenting time with that parent would impact the child’s relationship with the extended family members. What is the relationship like between parent and the children? Does your child have special needs and are each parent meeting those needs?
Child Custody and Paternity
If you are an Arizona Father and you have a child living in Arizona, you have rights. Father’s rights are very well established here in Arizona. Arizona legislators have determined that a court shall award parenting time and legal decision-making without regard to the gender of the parent or the child. But – and this is important – there are steps you must take as a father to establish those rights. There is a putative father registry for fathers that you must sign within a specific period of time after birth. There is language in Arizona statutes that in signing certain documents, you establish yourself as the Father. However, in order to prevent Mother from leaving the state of Arizona with your child, the safest bet is to bring a paternity action. Waiting more than six months after the birth of your child is a big risk since the severance of parental rights statute gives a six month window to maintain a normal relationship. Our firm has successfully represented fathers to establish rights and prevent losing parental rights to children, but each case is heavily fact-dependent. We have a brief on every major Arizona case concerning paternity and severance. Let us know if you have questions.
Scottsdale Service Area
Our divorce lawyers are just a short drive from many Scottsdale neighborhoods including Fashion Square, Old Town Scottsdale, North Scottsdale, McCormick Ranch, Cave Creek, The Boulders, Mission, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Gainey Ranch, Troon North, Grayhawk, South Scottsdale, Shea-Scottsdale, DC Ranch and other areas.
Child Custody Lawyer Consultations in Phoenix & Scottsdale
Moshier Law should be your first choice for when you need the best collaborative divorce lawyers in Scottsdale, or Phoenix, Arizona. Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to get the best possible outcome. You can trust us to represent you fully so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation!
We can protect and advise you regarding: Divorce and property division, child custody, child support, legal guardianship, child visitation, marital home and real estate matters, allocation and valuation of investments, businesses, practices, retirement savings, pensions, personal possessions, valuables, vehicles, closely held businesses, alimony and spousal maintenance, and debt division. To find out how our divorce attorneys can help your matter, schedule your initial case evaluation today.
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Divorce and Family Law
When a case demands litigation, you’ll have the benefit of 19 years of litigation experience in California and Arizona. But when a case demands collaborative law, or mediation, you’ll know every option.
Moshier Law services all of Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona. Jennifer and her team of professionals seek to resolve Family Law cases efficiently with your goals in mind.
Jennifer Moshier, Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer