Types of Custody in Arizona

Work with Our Phoenix Child Custody Attorney

Child custody legally determines how each parent will care for their child after their marriage has ended. Because these terms influence each parent's right to make key decisions and spend time with their children, it is a primary concern in most divorces and modifications. Steven N. Cole, LLC can help you seek a ruling that is optimized to meet your needs and the needs of your child.

At our firm, we pride ourselves on providing the representation families need to maneuver a wide range of circumstances. Our counsel is backed by more than 20 years of dedicated practice in family law and has been an asset to numerous clients in a variety of circumstances. Don't wait to contact our firm to receive a consultation. With an unwavering focus on individual needs, our divorce lawyer in Phoenix can help you seek a favorable ruling in the most complicated circumstances.

Legal vs. Physical Custody

A divorce cannot be finalized until some sort of ruling has occurred to determine child custody. This can be decided through mediated negotiation, or it can be given through a formal ruling in court. Regardless of how these terms are decided, they will always encompass two key elements: legal custody and physical custody.

Legal custody is a parent's right to make decisions on their child's behalf. While this may not be the first thought that comes to mind when considering custody, it is exceedingly important for determining the quality of a child's life. If awarded legal custody, a parent will retain the ability to influence the important choices affecting their child's well-being.

Any of the following decisions fall under legal custody:

  • Where the child will attend school
  • Who will serve as the child's doctor or dentist
  • Where they will seek emergency care
  • Where the child will attend church
  • Anything that significantly affects a child's welfare

While legal custody involves decision-making rights, physical custody refers to a parent's ability to spend time with their child. Residential and visitation arrangements will be determined under physical custody according to your child's best interest. This, too, will play a critical role in your ongoing influence in your child's life. A Phoenix child custody attorney may be the valuable asset you need to secure an ideal custody plan.

Types of Custody Arrangements

For the most part, state law favors joint custody arrangements, as these tend to be most beneficial for children after divorce. Unfortunately, not every parent can be trusted to make decisions that benefit their child. If a parent has a history of violence, substance abuse, or other unfavorable behavior, they may lose access to one or both types of custody.

A parent may receive any of the following types of custody:

  • Sole custody
  • Sole physical custody
  • Sole legal custody
  • Joint custody
  • Joint physical custody
  • Joint legal custody

Arizona law mandates that any custody arrangement be decided with your child's welfare as the highest priority. Steven N. Cole, LLC can help you work toward a plan that aligns with your desires and your child's needs. Likewise, if you decide that your plan no longer suits your family's needs, we are available to help you negotiate new terms of custody that better serve your child.

Our Phoenix child custody lawyer is ready to handle your case. Call now for a complimentary consultation!