Divorced fathers in Arizona may have a better chance of getting equal custody of their children than they did in the past. Many divorce lawyers have noticed that courts are regularly awarding parents joint custody, and fathers are being treated as equal parents. In the past, it was more common for mothers to get custody while fathers were awarded visitation.
Though joint physical custody is only recently becoming the norm, joint legal custody has been common in family courts for much longer. Joint legal custody means that both parents have an equal right to make decisions for their child. This means that even if a dad sees his child every other weekend, he still has an equal right to choose the child’s doctor or decide whether the child can go on a field trip.
Some lawyers are noticing that courts today are more open to an equal custody split, even when one parent is a stay-at-home mom. Now, courts look for a very good reason, like abuse or neglect, to deny one parent joint custody rights. Even if a dad was not a very involved parent during his marriage, he may still be awarded equal time with his kids after the divorce.
A father who is going through a divorce may want to have representation from a family law attorney during child custody negotiations. An attorney with experience in fathers’ rights cases may be able to help a father to pursue joint legal and physical custody. If a father was denied joint custody in a previous hearing, a lawyer may be able to help the father to appeal that decision.