Child Custody Attorneys
Divorce is never simple. When children are involved, it can take that heartbreak to an entirely different level of complicated. Every aspect of divorce is scary and confusing, and not knowing what will happen with your children, and what kind of relationship you will be able to have with them, can be one of the hardest parts.
The dedicated Arizona child custody attorneys at Dodge & Vega, PLC know that staying in an unhappy, dysfunctional, or abusive marriage can have a much larger negative impact on a child than a broken home. With more and more non-traditional families, it is almost as common for a child to come from an unmarried or divorced home than a traditional, two-parent, one-marriage family.
Other parents are struggling with building a relationship with their child for the first time as an unwed parent. Understanding how the legal process for child support, child custody, parental responsibility, and time-sharing all play together is overhwelming. Don’t worry- our Mesa family law attorneys and child custody lawyers can explain everything.
Whether you are seeking custody as part of an Arizona divorce, or are working hard to obtain your parental or father’s rights, you can’t risk your relationship with your children by relying on inferior legal counsel. You need a dedicated, motivated, and experienced Arizona child custody lawyer on your side, like the family law professionals and Mesa child custody attorneys at Dodge & Vega, PLC. We won’t stop fighting until we get you the rights you deserve!
Call Dodge & Vega, PLC at (480) 559-8252 for a Free Consultation!
Types of Child Custody in Arizona
Child custody is a legal process that states explicitly the amount of physical time, decision-making rights, and access each parent has regarding their minor child or children. While some states default to a standard 50/50 custody arrangement, Arizona is more flexible, providing a variety of suitable custody agreements based on the needs of the parents and the best interests of the child.
It is important to note that the different types of custody impact more than just the physical time with the child. Child custody and visitation also refers to the decision-making rights of each parent, typically regarding items such as the child’s education, health care, and religious affiliations. Typically, the decision-making rights are very much in-line with the amount of time the child spends with each parent, so the parent with the most physical access or parenting time often has the most decision-making authority as well.
Sole Custody: One parent is given complete decision-making authority and has complete control over access to the child. The custodial parent may choose to provide the noncustodial parent access, and may even set up a time-sharing schedule, but it will not be legally enforceable, and the noncustodial parent has no legal recourse if access is revoked, other than to legally seek modified custody arrangements. This is very similar to what an unmarried couple experiences prior to taking responsibility for the child through child support and filing for father’s rights.
Joint Physical Custody: With joint physical custody, both parents have equal or similar physical time with their child, as well as shared and equal decision making responsibilities. This is the most common custody arrangement between two competent, responsible parents, as most courts see the value of a healthy relationship with both parents.
Joint Legal Custody: Joint physical custody may not always make sense, such as when parents are geographically separated. However, both parents are still invested in the assuring that the needs of the child are met, and that the right decisions are made regarding the child’s future. This is common with military divorce and with parents who have abnormal work schedules or are required to travel frequently for work.
With all family law matters, it is best to go into custody hearings with a firm plan for what you want to happen. Being prepared is the best way to get favorable results. For dedicated representation and support, trust the divorce and custody lawyers at Dodge & Vega, PLC as your Mesa child custody law firm of choice.
Determining Child Custody Arrangements
Child custody laws vary between states. However, in most states, Arizona included, the courts work to create a joint custody arrangement that is in the best interests of the child. This means that the court will take into consideration the safety, happiness, physical well-being, and mental well-being of the child, in addition to other relevant factors.
Most courts will work under the assumption that a child is happiest, healthiest, and has the best chance of thriving when they are able to build a loving relationship with both parents. In order for a joint custody arrangement to be put into place, the courts will review income statements, information regarding medical conditions, your criminal history, assets, tax returns, employment history, and any allegations of abuse or domestic violence. A criminal history or low income will not automatically eliminate you from having rights regarding your children. This information is simply used to make the best choice possible for the child, and to determine other factors such as child support obligation and decision-making rights. Our Arizona family law attorneys can help you understand your specific case, and what you can expect from the legal custody process.
Other factors the courts consider include:
- The child’s relationship with their parents and any biological, step, adopted, or half siblings
- The child’s preference, depending on their age and level of maturity
- The stability of each parent’s home environment
- The mental and physical ability of each parent to provide competent care
- The employment and job responsibilities of each parent
Child support, time-sharing, and other factors can also play a role in the custody process, whether custody is being sought as result of divorce, or as an unmarried father seeking your Father’s Rights. When your family needs legal support, the Arizona family law firm of Dodge & Vega, PLC is here with a listening ear, keen mind, and unwavering dedication to you and your child.
Complete Arizona Family Attorneys
Dodge & Vega, PLC provides complete family law support for your family legal issues. Whether you need dedicated Arizona divorce lawyers, assistance with estate planning, prenuptial agreements, legal separation, bankruptcy, domestic violence, child support, child custody, or assistance with obtaining your father’s rights or help with any other family law topics, our family attorneys are here for you.
Parents that cohabitate rather than have a traditional marriage can benefit from the legal process of child support and child custody to ensure that their rights are protected should the couple ever split. Since unwed father’s do not have the same rights as married fathers, this is their best option for protecting their rights of custody and visitation with their child long-term. While you may avoid needing a Mesa divorce attorney if the relationship does go south, our dedicated AZ family law lawyers can assure you are able to keep your relationship with your children.
You wouldn’t hire a plumber to fix your roof, so why hire personal injury lawyers or criminal defense attorneys to support you with your divorce and family law needs? We are focused specifically on you, your family, and your needs, delivering the qualified, affordable care you need and deserve.
Let’s Talk- Free Initial Consultation
As your Mesa, AZ child custody attorneys, Dodge & Vega, PLC is dedicated to delivering high-quality, affordable legal support to our clients, and are excited to have you as one of them! We provide the guidance and assistance you need during the complex process of child custody, whether seeking a new custody order, child custody modification, or custody disputes. As with all family law matters, we put your family first, and do everything we can to defend and protect your rights as a parent.
Call the law offices of Dodge & Vega, PLC at (480) 559-8252 for a Free Consultation!