Steps to Get Custody of a Child

Steps to Get Custody of a Child

One of the more challenging processes for parents to endure is the custody determination by the court, most commonly done following a divorce or legal separation. Courts usually take into account the child’s best interests above everything else, but this is a hard choice to make in a lot of cases. The following are a couple of important factors regarded by courts when establishing who gets custody of their child.

Custody Consideration Number One: Kind of Arrangement

To decide child custody, understanding options for different arrangements is crucial. You may opt for joint legal custody for shared decision-making or seek sole custody if the other parent is unfit.

Custody Consideration Number Two: The Decision-Makers (Parents or Courts)

Typically, the answer to the question of “who is going to get custody?” will be established in first and foremost by the method that is followed by the people involved in the child custody case.

The Parents as the Decision-Makers

In many cases where parents reach an out-of-court agreement on child custody, the decision rests with them, guided by attorneys, therapists, or mediators. Out-of-court agreements may result from informal negotiations or alternative dispute resolution processes like mediation. Many states mandate attempting mediation in custody conflicts during divorce. When parents can agree on custody outside of court, there’s no fixed answer on who gets custody. Options include joint custody with shared living arrangements or one parent as the primary caregiver with ample visitation for the other.

The Court as the Decision-Makers

In child custody conflicts without a prior agreement, a family court judge typically determines the custody ruling. The outcome is uncertain, as courts follow a specific procedure, general principles, and a set of standard considerations.

Custody Consideration Number Three: Detriments and Preferences Impacting the Decision

Whether the custody decision arises from parental agreement or court judgment, various factors play a role. Primary caregiver, the child’s best interests, and, at times, the child’s preferences are pivotal considerations. Even in out-of-court negotiations, aligning with these factors ensures decisions are focused on the child’s welfare.

Custody Considerations in Non-Divorce Cases

Child custody and visitation disputes are common in divorces, but unmarried parents, grandparents, or other close individuals may also engage in custody cases.

Child Custody Can Be a Challenging Process If You Go It By Yourself: Obtain Legal Help Today

Navigating custody disputes in divorce or unmarried situations can be complex. The court, focused on the child’s best interests, determines custody. Seeking advice from a skilled family law attorney is crucial for understanding this process.


  1. Custody considerations: Step-by-step. Findlaw. (2018, September 27). Retrieved October 11, 2021, from

Speak With Our Child Custody Attorney In Scottsdale

Our Arizona child custody attorney prioritizes your case with personal attention, ensuring your and your children’s best interests in legal solutions.

An experienced family law attorney will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. We advocate for our clients, so they have the brightest future possible. Give us a call today at 480-999-0800 for a free consultation.


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