Gilbert Child Custody Lawyer

Gilbert child custody lawyer

As child custody lawyers in Gilbert, AZ, we know that custody of your kids is among the most important points of any divorce or legal separation agreement. Ideally, parents prioritize their children's needs and cooperate in creating a custody plan in their best interest.

Unfortunately, the reality is that your spouse is often unwilling to cooperate, may be unfit to be involved in raising your children, or may have different views on resolving custody disputes.

Arizona child custody laws can be highly complex and confusing. An attorney can play an important role in helping a parent understand their custody rights regarding a divorce or legal separation. 

It would help if you had an attorney to guide you through the process. Genesis Family Law and Divorce Lawyers is an Arizona family law attorney on your side to protect your rights and represent your interests.

Our Gilbert Child Custody Lawyer Will Defend Your Rights

Our Gilbert child custody lawyer will defend your rights

Family law matters are complicated, and child custody issues are no different. Our Gilbert child custody lawyers are here to provide the legal representation you deserve. Child custody cases are always complicated, but you need someone who can clarify the issues and help you make the best decision for your future.

Contact us today with questions about family law cases, including child custody. Our experienced family law attorney will fight for you and your family.

Types of Child Custody in Gilbert, AZ

In Gilbert, Arizona's family court, parents going through a divorce or legal separation must decide on child custody. Child custody refers to the rights and responsibilities of a child's parents and who will care for the child.

There are two types of child custody: legal and physical custody. Legal custody of a child means that a parent can make important decisions on that child's behalf, such as medical or schooling decisions. Physical custody determines who the child will live with.

Custody and Visitation in the Child's Best Interest

Custody may be awarded to both parents jointly, or if one parent is deemed unfit somehow, only one parent will be awarded custody. Ultimately, a judge decides the specifics of custody and visitation rights according to the children's best interests.

In deciding child custody, the court will look to do what is in the child's best interests. As such, the court may look to such factors as the parent's ability to provide for the child's needs and provide a safe environment, the physical and mental health of the parents, the income of each parent, and, in some cases, the child's preference.

The Preliminary Injunction

When a new Arizona divorce case is filed, the Clerk of Court issues a preliminary injunction that prohibits both parties from taking certain actions while the divorce is still pending.

An injunction is a court order. This means that if either party does anything forbidden by the Preliminary Injunction, he or she is violating a court order.

As it pertains to child custody, the preliminary injunction includes specific orders applicable to both parties and includes the following:

  1. You may not harass or bother your spouse or children.
  2. You may not physically abuse or threaten your spouse or children.
  3. You may not take the minor children, common to your marriage, out of the State of Arizona for many reasons without a written agreement between you and your spouse or a Court Order.
  4. You may not remove, or cause to be removed, the other party or the minor children of the parties from any existing insurance coverage, including medical, hospital, dental, automobile, and disability insurance. Both parties shall maintain all insurance coverage in full force and effect.

Arizona family law court judges take the preliminary injunction very seriously, and parents are strongly cautioned to do so. Violating any restrictions itemized in the Preliminary Injunction can be expensive and result in serious sanctions from the family law judge.

If either spouse violates the Preliminary Injunction, he or she may be found in contempt of a court order. If you find yourself involved in an Arizona divorce, seek the help of an experienced Arizona family law attorney before making decisions regarding community assets or taking actions involving minor children.

Interstate Jurisdiction

Some parents face challenges when one parent wants to relocate far from the other parent or even out of Arizona altogether. Even with good reasons for the proposed move, problems can arise when one parent wants to move far from the other. 

The non-moving parent will likely have their parenting time with the children reduced or substantially limited. A drastic reduction in parenting time can be difficult and traumatic for both the non-moving parent and the children.

A parent who wishes to relocate their children more than 100 miles from the other parent must follow the procedure found in A.R.S. §25-408, Arizona's relocation statute. 

Under this relocation statute, if both parents are entitled to joint legal decision-making or unsupervised parenting time and both parents reside in the State of Arizona, then the parent who wishes to relocate must provide the non-moving parent forty-five (45) days' written notice before that parent will be allowed to:

  1. relocate the child outside of the state or;
  2. relocate the child more than 100 miles within the state.

Then, the non-moving parent will have an opportunity to petition the court to prevent the relocation.

Filing a Petition for Relocation

Suppose the non-moving parent does file a petition to prevent the relocation within the time allowed under the statute.

In that case, the Arizona family law judge will set an evidentiary hearing to determine whether the relocation will be in the children's best interest. The parent seeking to move is responsible for providing evidence to the family court judge that the relocation is in the child's best interest. 

This evidence may include factors such as the child's age, which parent the child/children have primarily lived with, where the children will be most comfortable living, and even the child's desires.

A decision to move out of Arizona or more than 100 miles from another parent should not be taken lightly. Because of the complicated relocation issues, consulting with an experienced Gilbert Child Custody Attorney is very important.

Examples of When Changes To Child Custody Agreements Might Be Needed

Examples of when changes to child custody agreement might be needed
  • Changes in living situations: A parent might need to modify a child custody agreement if their living situation significantly changes, such as moving to a new city or state. This change could impact their ability to provide a stable environment for the child or affect regular visitation schedules. Before approving any modifications, the court will consider whether the new living arrangement serves the child's best interests.
  • Alterations in a parent's financial stability: If a parent experiences a major change in financial stability, such as losing a job or getting a significantly higher-paying job, they may seek to adjust child support or custody terms. These changes might affect their ability to meet the child's needs or provide more opportunities for the child. The court requires evidence of substantial and ongoing financial change before altering the custody agreement.
  • Concerns over the child's safety: If there are new concerns about the child's safety due to one parent's actions, such as instances of abuse, neglect, or exposure to substance abuse, a custody modification may be necessary. The primary concern of the court in these situations is to protect the child's welfare. Immediate changes to custody arrangements can be sought to ensure the child's safety and well-being.
  • The child's preference: As children age, they may strongly prefer living with one parent. If the court finds the child is of sufficient age and maturity to make an informed decision, this preference can be considered when modifying custody. Before making any adjustments, the court will also ensure that the child's preference aligns with their best interests.
  • Health concerns of a parent: If a parent becomes seriously ill or incapacitated, the custody agreement may need to be revised to ensure the child's care continues uninterrupted. The other parent may need to take on more responsibilities or sole custody temporarily or permanently, depending on the situation. The court will examine medical evidence and possibly seek input from healthcare professionals to determine the best arrangement for the child.

Child Custody Mediation in Gilbert, AZ

Divorce and parenting do not come with a set of instructions. Seeking help from a professional custody mediator can help you deal with the unexpected issues that arise from a divorce, ease the emotional heaviness you may be experiencing, and give advice to help you work towards more peaceful solutions. 

Child custody mediation allows parents to resolve disagreements, decide on a parenting plan that prioritizes their children, negotiate child support, and specify visitation rights.

How Child Custody Mediation Can Benefit Your Case

Child custody mediation is always a great option for parents or divorcing couples to have because a third-party professional can give advice and guidance as to what decisions are typically best for the children.

Additionally, using the services of a professional mediator to resolve disputes will almost always be less costly than litigating those same issues in court. 

Non-partial mediators can offer their assistance to seek the best possible outcomes based on the needs and rights of everyone involved instead of leaving those decisions up to a judge. Judges typically have very little empathy.

Instead, parents work with professional custody mediators who help them establish a healthy dialogue to agree upon what best serves the interests of their children.

Genesis Family Law and Divorce Lawyers Will Fight for You

You may feel that inviting someone else into your family issues could seem invasive and uncomfortable. 

However, Genesis Family Law and Divorce Lawyers in Gilbert, AZ, can help. Our legal team is highly experienced and confidential, and we stand by your side during your Arizona custody mediation. We can offer neutral, practical, and beneficial legal guidance for your custody situation. Contact us for a consultation today with a divorce attorney.

Contact Our Gilbert Child Custody Lawyer for a Free Consultation

Contact our Gilbert child custody lawyer for a free consultation

If you have questions or concerns about child custody, we are here to help you. At Genesis Family Law and Divorce Lawyers, our family law firm understands that each case differs. We will give yours the attention it deserves. We treat each client respectfully, always putting your needs first. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

We're open Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm.

If you have additional questions, call us at (480) 900-2302 or find us on Yelp.

It is located in Southeast Gilbert, Near Higley High School on Pecos Road, West of Power Road in the Power Ranch Neighborhood. Our Gilbert Law Firm offers Divorce Mediation, Uncontested Divorce, Contested Divorce, Legal Separation, Female Divorce Lawyers, Annulment, Child Support Issues, Child Custody, Military Divorce, Parenting Plans, Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, Grandparents Rights, Paternity, Order of Protection, Name Change and all Family Law legal issues.

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