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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on May 12, 2016

Before the changes of laws in 2013, mothers were favored in divorce in the state of Arizona. Now, custody laws recognize the equal rights of fathers in a divorce. Because the state views the mother and father as equals in a divorce, it is important to understand your rights as a father in order to get a fair custody ruling. There are several different ways parental custody can be divided.

Who decides custody in Arizona?

Parents may agree between themselves on how to share custody. If they cannot agree then the court may become involved and at that point the Superior Court may decide.

What are the types of custody in Arizona?

Sole custody gives legal custody of the child to one parent. With this form of custody, the court orders one parent to make all of the decisions regarding the child’s welfare. The parent designated in court makes all of the final decisions about the child.

Joint custody is used when both parents can agree on the child’s welfare. In joint custody the court orders both parents to come to decisions regarding the child’s life.

Legal custody just grants one or both of the parents the power to make all major decisions about the child’s welfare. In a divorce custody is usually granted as sole legal custody or joint legal custody.

How does the court make its decision about custody in Arizona?

Usually if there is a dispute between parents about who should have custody, the court orders them to attend a court mediation service to help them reach an amicable decision. If the parents are still unable to come to a decision, the court will have to decide for them. The court may seek outside experts to evaluate the family and home to help them come to a decision. The court eventually comes to a decision based on what is in the best interest of the child.

To consult with lawyers about your custody rights, contact us here.