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Child Custody Attorneys in Peoria, Arizona

Father hugging her little daughter after winning child custody case.

A divorce is never easy – especially when children are involved. You can quickly become overwhelmed as you fight for your rights as a parent and seek to do what serves your children’s best interests. Your first step should be to seek help from an experienced child custody lawyer in Peoria who can explain the process related to obtaining the arrangement that you want for you and your children.

At Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC, we can meet with you in Peoria, AZ to discuss your child custody issues. We will take the time to understand your goals and formulate a parenting plan that works best for your family’s unique circumstances. Contact us today to discuss your case.

Reaching a Parenting Plan with the Other Parent

Parents who are able to agree on a parenting plan can avoid the process of an adversarial court battle, as well as the time and costs associated with litigation. Parenting plans help you to foster a healthier atmosphere for your children. Parenting plans also provide certainty and clarity for both parents, as they secure a roadmap for handling most issues related to your children.

Arizona no longer uses the terms legal and physical custody. Instead, the state uses the terms:

  • Legal decision-making authority – Who has the right to make decisions for the children about matters such as health care and where they go to school.
  • Parenting time – Where the children will primarily live and how their time is spent with the other parent.

If you and the other parent can reach an agreement on your own regarding these issues, your parenting plan will need to include certain elements. Arizona law requires that all parenting plans address specific items, including:

  • Sole or joint legal decision-making authority;
  • A practical parenting schedule that includes vacations and holidays;
  • Details on what each parent’s rights and responsibilities concerning the care of the children;
  • How the parents will handle exchanges of the children;
  • What methods each parent will use to communicate with each other about the children;
  • How the parents will handle disputes and proposed changes to the parenting plan;
  • What process the parents will use if one parent breaches the agreement;
  • When each parent will do a periodic review of the parenting plan’s terms.

How Can We Help When Parents Cannot Agree on Parenting Time?

If you and the other parent have reached an impasse on certain aspects of the parenting plan, or you cannot even get started, you should speak with a child custody attorney in Peoria who can assist you. At Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC, we can suggest options that may help you to resolve the disputed issues rather than hash them out in a lengthy court battle. We will also make sure that your parenting plan contains all the terms required under Arizona law, and we will let you know whether a court may take issue with anything in your proposed parenting plan.

As we have seen over the years, what serves the “best interests of the child” often causes the biggest disputes between parents. What you feel is in the best interests of your children may be entirely different from the other parent’s opinion. In Arizona, a court will look at nearly a dozen factors in order to determine what is in the best interests of the child. Those factors include:

  • What type of interactions does the child have with each parent and relatives;
  • The mental and physical condition of each parent;
  • How well-adjusted the child is to his or her home environment, the community and school;
  • Evidence of child abuse or domestic abuse;
  • False reports of abuse by a parent, false statements to the court or other bad behavior by a parent.

What Are Third-party Rights?

Arizona courts have discretion to establish children’s orders for third parties, such as grandparents to other persons with a relationship to your children. Much like the “best interests” standard in a custody dispute between parents, a court will consider similar criteria in these types of cases, including:

  • The person’s motivation in seeking visitation rights;
  • The child’s relationship with the third party;
  • Why the parents denied visitation;
  • What the amount of visitation will be, and how it will impact the child’s life and activities;
  • The benefits of maintaining a visitation schedule in situations where either or both parents are deceased.

How Peoria Child Custody Attorneys Can Help You

At Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC, we will address all the issues that are most important to you and help you to reach a parenting plan for your children. We understand how emotional and stressful the divorce process can be when children are involved. Our extensive experience in Arizona family law matters can make all the difference for you and your family. To learn more, contact us today for a confidential review of your case.