Child Custody Lawyer
In Phoenix & Tempe
4500 S. Lakeshore Dr. Tempe, AZ 85282
GET A CONSULTATION WITH ARIZONA CHILD CUSTODY LAWYER ADAM WEINGART
Divorcing parents have much to consider, especially child custody. There’s a good reason why child custody is the most emotionally charged and conflicted part of a divorce. It’s not an easy time for anybody. Our Arizona child custody lawyers firmly believe that the more you know, the more at ease you are; we’ve provided this information below to do just that.
The Weingart Family Law Firm’s experience and understanding of Arizona family law, as well as our insights into what a family court judge is likely to do in a given situation, can help you find effective solutions to any child custody or parenting time situation you might be facing. Our Phoenix and Tempe child custody lawyer also advises and represents Arizona parents whose child custody or visitation rights stand to be affected by a former spouse’s intention to move to another state or who need to stabilize and secure parenting time access after a determination of paternity.
Custody is split into two parts, physical and legal. The court determines or approves physical and legal custody arrangements for each child.
Physical Child Custody
The actual living arrangements of the child and the rights and responsibilities associated with daily childcare.
Legal Child Custody
The right to decide the child’s upbringing concerning education, health care, and religion.
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Common Child Custody Solutions
Questions of custody usually arise when a divorcing couple with children decides to separate. While some couples immediately agree on short- or long-term custody, others require court intervention for the intermediate or final decision. Custody may be addressed throughout the divorce process in the following ways:
One parent has the right to make all major decisions concerning the child and upbringing. In Arizona, this generally occurs if there is a history of abuse and neglect. The non-custodial parent may be limited to restricted or supervised visitation in such instances.
Much like sole legal, sole physical custody means that the child or children live with only one parent, with the other parent being granted supervised visits. This is most commonly seen in cases where temporary orders are placed after one parent has alleged abuse of themselves or the children.
Joint custody can refer to either physical or legal custody. The vast majority of the time, when people get divorced, this is how judges rule if there isn’t a good reason why one parent should have sole custody. Parents in a joint custody situation need to be able to work together in the rearing of their children.
Phoenix & Tempe
Child Custody Determination
Family court judges in Arizona strongly prefer that parents resolve issues concerning child custody by negotiated agreement rather than by litigation. In some situations, however, questions of custody and parenting time access cannot be resolved so smoothly.
Temporary Orders Hearing
Shortly after the initial papers are filed seeking dissolution of a marriage, the family court may hold a temporary order hearing and issue an order that controls legal aspects of the parties’ relationship until it grants the final divorce decree. When custody is contested, the order creates a temporary custody solution. Unless there is evidence that doing so would not be in the child’s best interests, temporary custody is typically granted to the person who stays in the marital home. Temporary custody orders should have no bearing on which party will ultimately be awarded permanent custody. However, the temporary custody order may indicate which parent the court thinks is the more suitable depending on the circumstances.
Many states now require that parties in a contested divorce attempt mediation. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process in which divorcing couples work with a neutral third party to resolve their disagreements. Couples may resolve child custody while keeping other issues like property division open for a judge to decide or vice versa. If there isn’t any property and a case is merely about child custody, a parenting coordinator can be appointed to mediate the issue of children alone. It is common for judges to order that a final divorce agreement contain a mandatory mediation clause which makes parents return to mediation before the court getting involved in any future disagreements.
Most courts will order a custody evaluation before trial if the parties cannot reach a custody agreement. A court-appointed advisor is appointed by the judge and makes a report directly to the judge. The evaluation includes interviews with both parents and the children, observation of the children; conversations with teachers; and possible psychological testing of both parents and children. It can take four to twelve weeks to conclude a custody evaluation. When a custody evaluation has been ordered, the court usually will not enter a final custody determination until the evaluation has been completed.
In Arizona, the gold standard in child custody trial is: what are the child’s best interests? Considerations that go into the best interest determination may include a review of the child’s age and attachment to the parent who has been the primary caretaker; physical and mental health of the parents; any history of domestic violence; and the child’s wishes, depending upon the age of the child and the motivation for the preference.
WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
My name is Alex, and I was representing myself in court before hiring Adam Weingart. My son was removed from Arizona by his mother, who would not return or allow me to see him. After fighting for my rights for months, I learned the hard way that in family law, a man representing himself is a losing battle. I contacted Adam very late in my case, about 6 weeks before I had a trial. He responded within hours, and we set a meeting within days. His professionalism and work ethic gave me the confidence to continue my fight. To make a long story short, I won my case and even came out of the situation with more than I asked for. Without Adam Weingart being by my side, I would have lost everything I was fighting for. I could never thank Adam enough for what he has done for me.”