When you decide to divorce, your children are first and foremost in your mind. You want to ensure they have a living situation that meets their care needs.
The court begins with the presumption that you and your spouse will share joint custody of the children. In Arizona, the law does not favor one parent over the other. However, if you feel a shared custody arrangement is not appropriate in your situation, you can seek sole custody.
What is sole custody?
Arizona recognizes two types of child custody: legal decision-making and parenting time. The court can award both types as either sole or joint. Sole decision-making means that one parent has the legal right to make decisions regarding the children’s health care, education, religion and activities. Parenting time refers to when children spend time with each parent. Typically, a parent with sole decision-making has physical custody of the children, and the other parent has scheduled visits with them.
Can you get full custody?
You must provide evidence that you are the primary caregiver for your children and maintain a healthy relationship with them. Your parenting skills and involvement in their lives offer proof that this arrangement will be beneficial for your family. A court will grant sole decision-making and physical custody when it is appropriate.
How are custody and parenting time decided?
The court aims to serve the best interests of your children. When you request sole custody, the court considers many factors, including:
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Mental health
- Physical health
- Criminal history
- Domestic violence
- Child abuse or neglect
When you understand the laws in your state regarding parenting time and custody, you have a better chance of securing an arrangement that benefits your children.