Scottsdale Child Custody Lawyer
Family law matters can be difficult, from divorce to paternity proceedings, particularly when it involves child custody. When the well-being of your child is at stake, you can find the experienced, compassionate, and award-winning representation you deserve at Owens & Perkins, Attorneys at Law.
Why Choose Our Child Custody Attorneys?
- 60+ years of combined legal experience
- Exceptional reviews from past clients are evidence of our knowledge, experience, and commitment to success
- AV Rated Firm by Martindale-Hubbell for our very high ethical standards and legal ability
- Top Lawyers for Excellence and Achievement, The Arizona Republic
How is Legal Custody Determined in Arizona?
In Arizona, child custody is referred to as legal decision-making. Legal decision-making is also classified as legal custody, which is the right to make decisions for the child or children in specific statutory areas.
These areas include:
- Medical care
Arizona law requires that the court and/or the parties involved decide who will make such decisions on behalf of the child or children (legal custody / legal decision-making).
Parenting time or visitation is the time that a parent is going to spend with his or her child or children (physical custody). Parenting time can be granted to only one parent, which is called sole custody, or to both parents, which is called joint custody. The legal standard for determining custody is what is in the best interests of the child.
The court looks at many factors before deciding custody matters:
- The wishes of the child’s parent or parents
- The wishes of the child
- The interrelationship of the child with parents and other family members or persons who may affect the child’s best interest
- The child’s adjustment to home, school, and community
- The mental and physical health of all individuals involved
- Which parent is likely to allow frequent and meaningful continuing contact with the child with the other parent
- Who has provided primary care for the child
- The nature and extent of coercion or duress used by a parent in obtaining an agreement regarding custody
- Whether a parent has attended the mandatory educational program
- Whether either parent was convicted of an act of false reporting of child abuse or neglect
- Whether there has been domestic violence or child abuse
Whether you are awarded sole or joint custody, the orders that are entered by the court or the agreement you enter into can be in effect for a long time. Having a carefully drafted, detailed custody agreement can make your life much easier going forward for both the parents and the children.
Parental Rights in Arizona
Any person or agency that has a legitimate interest in the welfare of a child, including, but not limited to, a relative, a foster parent, a physician, the department or a private licensed child welfare agency, may file a petition for the termination of the parent-child relationship alleging any of the following grounds
- Neglect or willful abuse
- Mental illness, mental deficiency or a history of chronic abuse of dangerous drugs, controlled substances or alcohol.
- Felony incarceration
- Failure to file a paternity action
- Failure to file a notice of claim of paternity
- Out-of-home placement
- Nine months willful refusal to remedy
- Six months willful refusal to remedy and the child is under the age of three
- Fifteen months inability to remedy
- Unknown parent
- Prior termination within two proceeding years
- Reunification and removal with 18 months