Divorce is a challenging situation for parents and children. Not only do the divorcing spouses have to determine the manner in which property is split, they also have to determine the custody arrangement for their children.

In many jurisdictions including Arizona, the family court system strives to make the custody arrangement as simple as possible. The main goal of custody arrangements is to make the transition for the children seamless.

Custody Issues

When a divorce is on the horizon, one of the primary concerns is which parent gets custody of the children. The custodial parent is able to make decisions about schools, religious affiliation and health care. The non-custodial parent has visitation rights with the children.

In many cases, custody issues are negotiated by the parents and presented to the judge. When there is a custody conflict between parents, the judge makes an unbiased decision to assist in the determination of custody. Judges in Arizona do not favor one parent over the other parent.

Making Custody Decisions

There are different judicial processes that are in place to help the judge make a custody decision. Sometimes a judge refers the parents to mediation. In mediation, a mediator serves as a neutral party to the discussion. The mediator does not make the decision for the parents. The parents make the custody decision under the guidance of a mediator. If the parents are not able to come to an agreement, the judge uses other means to make a custody decision.

If the custody case is controversial, the judge may get assistance from other agencies. Social services and outside experts are called to lend their opinions to the custody case.

Court Custody Considerations

When deciding on a custody case, the judge usually takes several factors into account.

  • The wishes of the parents and the children.
  • The nature of each parent’s relationship with the children.
  • The level of care that will be provided by each parent.
  • The school and community in which each parent lives.
  • The incidences of domestic or substance abuse.

Determining child support in Arizona is a complex process. There are no universal guidelines that are applied to each case. By considering all of the facts of a case, a judge carefully makes a determination about child custody. For help with your child custody case contact Kossack Law.