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By: Sampair Group

How to Get Sole Custody in Arizona

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Some Information On Arizona’s Child Custody Laws.

Initially, the Arizona courts begin your child custody case with the assumption that both parents wish to have joint custody of their children. The court generally has no preference unless your lawyer offers alternatives such as Sole Custody. Under the joint custody laws, you and your spouse would share almost all the physical custody and other responsibilities regarding your child.

However, if you believe joint custody is not a good option for your unique situation, you can file for sole or “full” custody. The Arizona courts will consider full custody if, and only if, you and your experienced child custody lawyer put forth sufficient reason for doing so.
Child custody is always a significant issue in Arizona when you want a divorce or legal separation.

Also important to note is that child custody laws change depending on your state, and in Arizona, there were significant changes around 2013. For example, what used to be designated as child custody, joint custody, or sole custody was changed to “sole legal decision-making.”

Also, child visitation isn’t used anymore, as this changed due to your parenting time. Parenting time can also be called access or visitation, which is the non-custodial parent’s chance to spend time with the child.

However, suppose you file and receive full child custody. In that case, it will legally mean that you have the final legal say in all matters that pertain to your child, their health, education, physical and mental care, religion, etc. But this does not mean that you and your ex-spouse can’t discuss these matters; only you, as the court-ordered parent, have the final say.

What Exactly Does Having “Sole” Custody Of Your Children Entail?

Legally, custody of your children has two forms: legal and physical. Under Arizona’s guidelines, “custody” refers to legal custody. “Physical custody” refers to with whom the child lives. It also refers to “parenting time” or visitation rights.

Suppose you have sole custody of a child. In that case, you are the only court-mandated parent with full and final say regarding any decisions about your child’s health care, education, and overall general welfare. You could, however, have an “informal” agreement to discuss vital issues in your child’s life, but only you have the full legal power to make those choices.

So, you must be fully aware of this responsibility and realize that all aspects of your spouse’s involvement will be voluntary (except for court-ordered child support, etc.)
Usually, if you have sole custody, you also have physical custody of the child and provide for their full-time needs. Also, entirely dependent on your situation, the “non-custodial” parent could have parenting time with their child and commonly does pay some amount of child support.

If one parent objects to this “sole custody” arrangement, it can be legally challenging to make it happen. However, with your Maricopa County child custody lawyer’s experienced, empathetic, and helpful advice, it can be done.

Arizona divorcing parents reach many different arrangements regarding these matters, and working with a prepared, diligent child custody lawyer will be invaluable in winning your sole custody case.

What Must I Prove To Gain Sole Custody in Arizona?

If your spouse objects to you having sole custody, it can now be a contentious and challenging legal battle. You, and your aggressive child custody lawyer, must provide substantial evidence to the Arizona court for you to do so; the final decision may lie with the courts.

The Arizona court will analyze many aspects of your child’s previous life and make this custody decision based on myriad factors, such as:

  • How custody will affect the relationship of your child with their siblings.
  • The relationship and how each parent impacted their child.
  • Which parent will provide a loving relationship?
  • Your child’s adjustment to their community, school, and home

However, if you are asking for sole custody, you must prove much more so the court understands the situation thoroughly and that your request has sold, and vested interests in the child’s wellbeing, such as:

  • The mental and physical health of you and your spouse.
  • A proven history of direct domestic or physical violence.
  • Showing coercion or duress was used to obtain your current parenting agreement.
  • Any proven history of abuse or neglect of you and your children.

Serious accusations must be made and substantiated if your partner objects to you obtaining sole custody and all full decision-making authority over your child.

How Do My Lawyer & I File For Sole Custody in Arizona?

First, always remember that legally obtaining sole custody is a challenging legal task in Arizona.

The Arizona court’s primary objective is well-being and doing what’s suitable for the child. That, under most circumstances, includes maintaining a relationship with both parents.

Therefore, your diligent, aggressive, and communicative Maricopa County custody law team must first gather all evidence to bolster and prove your case that there are rational and even possibly dire reasons you should have sole custody over your child.

Your lawyer will work tirelessly to mount, draft, manage, and present all aspects of your sole custody claim, including:

  • Guiding you through laws and guidelines (such as Branch/Overview Child Custody Support and Family Law) to help you to understand the facts the court will use to determine sole custody.
  • Represent you in all negotiations.
  • Gather eyewitnesses and all available evidence to prove your case.
  • Compile evidence to prove that your spouse is unfit to have custody of your child.
  • Representing you in court and guiding you regarding negotiations and legal options you may pursue.

I May Want To Pursue Sole Custody of My Child; What Should I Do?

First, learn all the pertinent facts about child custody in Arizona and what path to take to improve your chances of being granted sole custody of your child.

This is a tricky legal case that’s critical to you and your child’s future. Therefore, you want nothing less than the most skilled, experienced, and passionate child custody law team by your side. The Sampair Group of family lawyers has a long and winning history of child custody cases in Maricopa County.

Call them today at (623) 294-2498 and obtain a free consultation of your case. Learn all your legal options to get custody vital to you and your child’s future.