Divorce & Custody Rules in Mesa, Arizona

The toughest part of divorce often pertains to the possibility that you may not get custody for your child. Custody issue is, most of the times, a bone of contention between the parents in times of divorce trial. Neither parent wants to live away from the child. The state of Arizona has its own divorce and custody laws allowing the contentious parties to resolve the issues as amicably as possible.

Sometimes, the court’s intervention becomes inevitable, as the parents cannot successfully negotiate between them for a solution. Allow yourself to take a closer look at the following factors that play a decisive role in resolving a custody issue.

Custody Type

Custody issues could cause confusions as meanings of certain terms differ from one state to another. Legal custody in most states including Arizona implies which parent will be able to take important decisions regarding education, medical care etc on the child’s behalf. Sole custody and legal custody are same in Arizona. In joint custody, both parents take the responsibility to make important decisions together. Physical custody is about which parent the child will live with for most of the time. The courts in Arizona are in favour of giving equal time to both parents for physical custody.

Best Interests

If a trial is inevitable, the custody decisions in Arizona are based on the child’s best interests. It may require a custody evaluator to enter into the scenario. The individual is vested with the responsibilities of meeting with the family members and talking to the child before submitting his/her recommendations to the court. The section 25-403 of the legislative code in Arizona guide judges and evaluators alike. The guidelines consider the child’s preference and also which parent fulfils the primary needs of the child.

The court also considers each parent’s willingness to promote a loving and healthy bonding between the other and the child. Domestic violence is also considered. If domestic violence is proved, the tortured parent is relieved of the responsibilities of facilitating a bonding between the abusive parent and the child. In that case, the abusive parent will not be given the child’s custody. However, if false accusation is brought against one parent in order to win the custody case, the court will evaluate it as well.

Trial Prerequisites

When a custody issue is involved into divorce proceedings, the court requires the parents to prepare a list of parenting plan and submit it. The plan details who will have the physical and legal custody of the child as well as schedules mentioning when the other parent will get to spend time with the child. Parenting plan must include how parents want to address any custody issue in future. If the parents don’t agree to a plan, they should go for a divorce trial. The courts may order the parents to do meditation before deciding the custody issues.

Visitation Rights

The judges may order for frequent contact with the noncustodial parent if a child stays with the custodial parent for most of the time. There are some exceptions in this regard if the noncustodial parent is violent and abusive. Consult with a Mesa Child Custody Attorney about your child’s custody if you are to file for a divorce.