Child Custody Lawyers in Phoenix, Arizona

Child custody actions during the divorce process are probably the most stressful of associated events, when parents are unsure of the time they will be able to spend with their children and if they will be safe with the other parent, especially where spouses may be harboring divorce-related resentment.  Many married individuals stay in unhappy home situations so they do not have to worry about a younger child’s welfare in their absence, with the belief that they at least have some control over who may come in contact with their child.  A consultation with a Phoenix child custody lawyer at Schneider & Onofry, P.C.  may alleviate these fears and allow individuals to embrace the changes that are necessary for them to move forward as an individual and a parent.

What is a child custody arrangement associated with a divorce?

The common types of child custody arrangements in Arizona include:

  1. Legal Custody gives parents the right to make decisions related to education, healthcare, and religious issues and is the basis of parental rights, regardless of custody arrangements.
  2. Physical Custody is the designation used to describe a situation where one parent provides daily care and physical support for a child. Sometimes it is referred to as residential custody to describe where a child will be living.  Physical custody can either be sole, or joint, depending upon what is in the best interests of a child.
  3. Sole Custody is when one parent has the responsibility to care for the child on an every day basis and the other parent has visitation rights that do not disrupt the continuity of school, home, and community life. The parent who has sole custody is usually referred to as the custodial parent and the parent who has visitation rights is the non-custodial parent who still has an obligation to financially support the other parent.
  4. Joint Custody is considered shared parenting, where a child’s full time living arrangements are divided by percentage such as a 50-50 split, but considerations by the court will be made based on the well-being of a child. Joint custody arrangements may be more difficult in court rulings unless they are explicitly outlined and followed by both parents.

Considerations by a judge in all custody actions will include a child’s age and cognitive ability, parent work schedules, child support needs, educational considerations, community connections such as extra-curricular sports activities, and the ability for both parents to comply with the arrangement.  In certain cases, if a parent is a threat to the child, custodial rights can be taken away, based on court decisions after hearings and reviews are concluded.

How do parents of divorce maintain stability for their children?

Battles involving child custody are best addressed with a Phoenix Arizona family law attorney to avoid negative family impacts and include decisions regarding physical custody of children, timesharing, visitation, household stability and when, or if parents can move out of state.  The focus on maintaining stability in child custody arrangements includes attention to:

  1. Familiar and safe living space(s),
  2. Minimal changes in routine,
  3. Continuity of community in family home, school, etc.,
  4. Maintaining extra-curricular activities with friends,
  5. Addressing feelings of anxiety, and
  6. Identifying and discussing increased situations where children will experience variable outcomes, versus the constants that a previous two-parent household may have provided.

Attorneys at the Law Offices of Schneider & Onofry can address concerns related to Phoenix AZ child custody actions.

What is the benefit of a comprehensive time-sharing agreement in Phoenix AZ?

Family division takes a toll on families, especially children who have to split their time between two households.  It is usually best to make a comprehensive time-sharing agreement that is agreed upon by both parents and file it with the court.  If one parent is not adhering to the agreed-upon plan, it may be best to hire a child custody attorney in Phoenix who can file a formal order to request changes for custody.

Judge determinations. An experienced child custody lawyers Phoenix can advise clients on factors that a judge will consider for timeshare agreements that may sway custody battles in one direction, or another.  They include:

  1. Parent’s willingness to encourage a relationship between the child and the other parent,
  2. Parent’s willingness to honor the time-sharing schedule,
  3. The ability of each parent to put their own needs after the child’s needs,
  4. Whether the home environment provides stability for the child,
  5. The physical, emotional, and mental health of each parent,
  6. Any past troubles, like child abuse, domestic violence, or child endangerment,
  7. The desire of the child, if the child is old enough to decide (usually at the age of 12),
  8. Parent’s willingness and ability to participate in a child’s education and other activities.

 What is a child custody modification?

 Experienced family law attorneys in Phoenix can be instrumental in child custody modifications when one parent needs changes to custody, and the other disagrees. It may be necessary to hire a lawyer to effectuate the changes with court approval, because any timesharing agreement, or custody modification has no legal effect unless ordered by the presiding court judge. Modifications are usually requested to address changes in visitation, the impacts of family violence, and situations where parental education is recommended by the court.

How does child custody in Phoenix impact financial support?

Arizona child custody is directly linked to the amount of child support each parent is required to pay and an attorney can help with filing distinctions when children are involved, including preparation of a child support information sheet; support obligation income affidavits; child support guidelines forms; and a child support guideline notice of compliance.

Child Custody Litigation in Phoenix Arizona.

Experienced child custody attorneys at the Law Firm of Schneider & Onofry will guide individuals through the benefits of each type of child custody arrangement, assuring exposure to both parents in order to provide a stable foundation for a child’s life.


Arizona Statutes – Title 12 – Chapters: 401 and Title 25 – Chapters: 312, 329

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