Few issues in family law generate more anxiety than child custody and parenting time problems. To learn how your relationship with your children can be protected and strengthened despite the stress of divorce, contact Steven E. Sufrin in Phoenix.
The Best Interests of the Children Are the Primary Concern
Any dispute about child custody and parenting time in Arizona will be resolved according to the best interests of the children involved. Any issue as to custody and parenting time should not be seen as a contest between the parents, but as a disagreement as to what is best for the children.
Attempting an amicable resolution with your spouse can reduce your child’s stress and confusion during times of conflict. Our attorneys work to achieve favorable results through negotiation or mediation.
At the same time, we handle high-conflict child custody or parenting time (visitation) problems that likely require litigation, such as situations involving:
- Alcoholism or chemical dependency
- Domestic violence
- Sexual abuse
- Mental illness
- Other indications of unfitness on the part of either parent
Arizona courts generally presume that a stable and secure relationship with both parents is in the best interests of a child. However, any of the above circumstances can justify limited or highly conditioned access of a troubled parent to his or her own child. If you need assurance that your child will be safe while spending time with the other parent, our law firm can work toward establishing the necessary conditions.
Legal Custody Versus Physical Custody
Custody has two components. Legal custody, which describes the ability of each parent to make decisions for their child and Physical custody, which describes where the child will live for the majority of the time. Parenting Time (visitation) depends upon many factors, including who has been the primary care-giver, the parents’ work schedules, the distance between households, and the children’s wishes (if age appropriate).