You and your spouse have decided to split up, and you must now tackle issues like the splitting of your assets and, even, alimony. However, your biggest concern is what will happen to your children.
Navigating child custody in Arizona can understandably be challenging. However, having a solid understanding of your child custody options may help you to make the best decisions for yourself and your children. Here is a look at two types of custody that require attention in a child custody case.
A look at legal custody
As part of the divorce process in Arizona, you and the other parent must determine who will assume legal custody of your children. People who have legal custody of their children have the right to make important decisions for their children. If both you and the other parent share legal custody, this means that you both will have a say in things such as what religion your children will practice. In addition, you both get to decide the age at which your children can drive or date.
If you have sole legal custody, then only you can make important decisions regarding your child. The other parent has no choice but to act in accordance with these decisions when he or she is with your children. Still, joint legal custody is more common than sole custody in Arizona.
A glimpse at physical custody
If you and your children share legal custody, you must also share physical custody. However, it may not be possible for both you and the other parent to share time with the children equally, or 50/50. In this situation, you and the other parent can simply create a time-sharing schedule that works best for your family situation.
If you have sole physical custody of your children, the other party can still see the children based on a child visitation schedule. Of course, the law prohibits visitation in situations where it may pose a danger to your children’s emotional, moral, mental or physical health. Also, you cannot legally move over 100 miles away from the other parent without first obtaining his or her permission or the court’s permission.
How an attorney can help
Figuring out how to deal with physical and legal custody can no doubt be overwhelming in Arizona. However, an attorney can help you to pursue the custody option that is in your best interests. Most importantly, though, your attorney will seek an outcome that is in your children’s best interests in the short and long terms.