When kids are involved in a divorce, nothing is simple. Your first step to understanding your rights and getting helpful answers to your tough questions is to speak with an experienced and compassionate Surprise, AZ child custody lawyer at Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC.
We know how hard it can be to fight for your rights as a parent. We will help you to seek a child custody arrangement that is best for your child and your family. We have many years of experience with helping parents going through a divorce in Surprise and throughout surrounding communities.
So, what can a family law firm do for you? To find out, contact us today and discuss your case in a confidential consultation.
Arizona no longer uses the terms “custody” and “visitation.” Instead, the terms are “legal decision-making” and “parenting time.” As you work to resolve your “custody” dispute with the other parent, you should understand what those terms mean.
This term refers to which parent has the authority to make major decisions about the child’s life such as those decisions dealing with the child’s school, health care and religious upbringing. Under Arizona family law, parents can have joint legal decision-making authority. In other words, they share the authority to make those major decisions about a child’s life, or maybe one parent makes decisions in certain areas such as where the child goes to school, while the other parent makes decisions in other areas such where the child goes to church. In some cases, a parent may receive sole legal decision-making authority.
Parenting time refers, plainly enough, to the amount of time that a parent enjoys with the child. It can range from a few hours to several days with the child. Today, most divorced parents in Arizona enjoy equal parenting time with their children. However, as we explain in more detail below, reasons may exist for a child to primarily live or spend time with one parent, while the other parent has limited time with the child.
The “best interests” standard often generates disputes between parents. One parent may view a certain type of arrangement as ideal. The other parent may see it very differently. Many other issues can arise. For instance, one parent may be strongly in favor of maintaining a certain religious upbringing, while the other parent may feel it is detrimental to the child.
Getting custody of a minor child can be challenging and full of emotional and practical hurdles. The process involves several key steps. The first step is to understand what is best for the child. Arizona, like many states, looks to what decision-making and parenting time arrangement will serve the “best interests of the child.”
Arizona family law provides 11 factors for a court to consider when it determines what is best for a child in terms of decision-making and parenting time. Those factors are:
If you are a parent who is going through a divorce in Surprise, you should strongly consider the benefits of reaching an agreement on a parenting plan with the other parent. If you can agree on a plan, then it means that you – not a court – chooses who will make decisions that affect your child’s welfare and how much time you get to spend with the child. In your situation, the use of a child custody mediation may help you to reach an agreement with the other parent. If you can agree on a plan, it will ultimately spare you a great deal of time, stress and expenses.
Under Arizona law, parenting plans must address certain items, including:
An experienced child custody law firm in Surprise, AZ, can work with you towards reaching a parenting plan that achieves your goals as a parent. If you cannot reach an agreement with the other parent, then a lawyer can present your side to a court. Additionally, if any need arises to modify a parenting plan, your lawyer can help you to get through that process as smoothly as possible.
At Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC, we will pay close attention to your needs and your goals as you go through a child custody battle. We can address all issues that are important to you, including custody of your child. We understand how parents want to have a voice in major decisions about their child’s life and, above all, how they want to spend time with the child as he or she grows. Our experience in family law can make a difference for you. To learn more, call or reach us online today through our Surprise office. We can review your case together and discuss how we can assist you.
Zachary Mushkatel is an Arizona native who earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona in 2001 and his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2004. After serving as a public defender, he entered into private practice and, ultimately, joined forces with Mathis Becker to form the law firm known today as Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC. In addition to criminal law, Mushkatel practices civil litigation, with a focus on estate litigation and personal injury cases. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce and Sun Valley Lodge, and he is an executive officer and member of the Board of Directors for the West Maricopa County Bar Association.
April 14, 2020 in Divorce
March 12, 2020 in Uncategorized
January 21, 2020 in Child Custody