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Child Custody

A Look at How the Courts Handle Child Custody Decisions

By January 25, 2024June 17th, 2024No Comments

If you need your local court’s help in determining the best custody arrangements for your child, it’s important to know what to expect. With that understanding, you can temper your emotions and focus on what your child needs. To help you navigate every stage of this process, here’s a look at how the courts handle child custody decisions from beginning to end.

Factors That Influence Custody Decisions

In order to keep the best interests of your child a top priority, the court weighs the decision using a number of factors, such as:

Your child’s age

Wishes of both parents

Relationship between the parents

Your child’s relationship with both parents

Income level and other resources

Who provides the majority of the child’s care

Mental and physical fitness of the parents and child

Distance between both households

Work schedules and other competing obligations

History of mental health problems, addiction, and criminal records

As the judge looks over all the different factors, they consider how well each parent will provide the child with stability, safety, and support. They will also attempt to avoid disrupting the child’s home life too much without keeping them from spending quality time with their parents.

Types of Child Custody Arrangements

Using the information before them, the judge will determine how to split custody of your child between both parents. If both parents are equally fit and it would benefit the child, the court may award joint physical and legal custody.

Joint custody arrangements allows both parents to make upbringing decisions, like for their medical care and education. Plus, it splits the child’s time between both households. The way this arrangement might look depends on work schedules, household locations, and the child’s needs.

Your child might primarily live with one parent and spend the majority of weekends and vacations with the other. Holidays are typically split down the middle to let everyone celebrate together on a rotating basis. As the parents, you’ll likely be encouraged to figure out a schedule that will benefit your child and work for both of your households. The judge will create the schedule for you if you cannot come to an agreement.

If one parent is deemed unfit, however, then the judge will award the other sole physical and/or legal custody. With this arrangement, the non-custodial parent may still get visitation rights, especially if they go through treatment for addiction or otherwise satisfy the court’s requirements.

How to Get Support While Fighting for Child Custody

For most people, child custody cases are the legal battle of a lifetime. Emotions run high as the pain and uncertainty wreak havoc on your mental state, but to get the desired results, you need to take a professional, level-headed approach.

Thankfully, you can rely on our attorneys at San Tan Family Law to fight for a fair child custody agreement while helping keep family strife to a minimum. We will remain by your side from discovery through the negotiation phase and beyond, providing the support and representation you need every step of the way.

To get started, all you have to do is give us a call at 480-542-1000 or fill out our online consultation request form. During that call, we will gather information about your case and help you understand what to expect as you fight for custody of your child.

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