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Chandler Child Custody Attorney

One of the most important parts of a divorce is maintaining a positive and caring relationship with your children. At Wilson-Goodman Law Group, PLLC, we fight to ensure our clients’ parental rights remain intact after a separation or divorce. Whether you are entering into negotiations or in a court fight with your spouse, we are going to ensure your legal rights are upheld concerning your children. Let our Chandler legal custody attorneys get to work today.

The Wilson-Goodman Law Group, PLLC is your choice for Chandler Child Custody Cases

When it comes to protecting your parental rights, you need to secure a family law attorney you can trust. At Wilson-Goodman Law Group, PLLC, we bring more than two decades of experience to your side.

  • We are dedicated to service, and we work to ensure a prompt response to your emails and phone calls. We will ensure you know what is going on every step of the way.
  • We understand how personal child custody situations are, and we will offer compassionate legal counsel in a relaxed environment.
  • We offer reasonable rates for our family law clients, including a reduced hourly rate for your initial consultation.

dad and daughter

How can a Chandler Child Custody lawyer help?

Your family law attorney will be your advocate throughout the legal custody process. This can become complicated, but your child custody lawyer will work to ensure your rights are upheld. Even though many child custody disputes go through Conciliation services, an Arizona child custody attorney will be there to offer guidance.

If necessary, your child custody attorney will be prepared to take a case to trial if there is no resolution in meditation or during a parenting conference. The family court system can be intimidating, but our Chandler child custody lawyers have the resources necessary to handle any situation that may arise.

Understanding legal custody arrangements in Arizona

There are two kinds of custody you will be dealing with during the divorce process – physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody deals with where the child will reside, while legal custody handles a range of other issues.

Legal custody refers to which parent can make legal decisions about the child’s upbringing. This includes decisions about their:

  • medical decisions and care
  • religious upbringing
  • educational decisions
  • and more, such as extracurricular activities and travel

When it comes to legal custody, parents can share responsibility (joint custody), or one parent can have complete decision-making control (sole custody). It is possible for one parent to have physical custody while both parents share legal custody and vice-versa.

There are various factors that go into determining which parent gets legal custody. This can include:

  • The proximity of both parents’ residences to one another
  • The wishes of both parents
  • Allegations of physical abuse
  • Drug or alcohol addictions
  • Other criminal issues

What is Parenting Time in Arizona?

During your negotiations for child custody, you may hear attorneys and mediators refer to “parenting time. Many states now use this term interchangeably with child custody. In Arizona, parenting time may refer to the amount of time a non-custodial parent spends with their children—often called “visitation,” or the amount of time each parent has custody of their children. 

Arizona courts encourage parents to make their own agreements and schedules for custody and parenting time. If the parents are unable to come to mutually agreeable terms that best serve the child’s interests, then a judge will decide on custody and parenting time during the final hearing.

Common Child Custody Schedules in Arizona

Arizona encourages 50/50 parenting schedules or about half of the parenting time with each parent in order to foster close, meaningful, and continuing relationships with both parents. The courts consider this to be in a child’s best interest—the focus of all decisions in family court matters. Individual circumstances and schedules may vary, and in some cases, it isn’t practical for a child to have exactly equal parenting time with each parent, in which case one parent may have primary custody and the other have scheduled parenting time; however, equal custody is the more common arrangement for divorced parents today. Some common child custody schedules in Arizona include:

  • The 3-4-4-3 schedule: children spend 3 days with one parent, then 4 days with the other, then 4 days with the first, and 3 days with the other in a repeating pattern that gives both parents equal weekday/weekend custody
  • The every 2 days schedule: children get 2 days with one parent then 2 with the other in a repeating schedule. This works well for babies and very young children who can’t spend long periods of time away from either parent
  • The 4-3 schedule: this works well when one parent has a busier work schedule and can spend less time with the children. In this schedule, the children spend 4 days with a primary custodial parent and then 3 days with the other—typically Friday after school through Monday morning
  • Alternating weeks schedule: This works well for older children who can spend longer periods of time away from each parent and minimizes the amount of time transitioning between two homes

Part of the parenting plan for divorced parents should also cover which parent is responsible for transporting the children and special provisions for holidays and school vacations.

Does One Parent Pay Child Support if They Share 50/50 Custody?

Even when parents share custody equally or as close to 50/50 shared custody as possible, one parent typically pays child support to the other. Arizona uses an Income Shares Model to determine child support payments from one parent to the other. The higher-earning parent pays the lower-earning parent, but the calculated amount includes deductions for the amount of time the paying parent has custody or parenting time with the children.

Only in cases of parents with 50/50 parenting time and very similar incomes does the court decide against including child support orders in the divorce agreement.

Child Custody Modification

A parent can request a modification of their child custody agreement at any time after one year following the initial order. Parents must be able to show a substantial ongoing change in circumstances in order to request a modification. Courts may make an exception to the one-year rule for cases of child endangerment, abuse, or parental criminal conduct, or if one parent fails to comply with the child custody order.

Let us help you through your child support case

If you are worried about your parental rights being taken away due to a separation or divorce, you need to seek legal assistance immediately. Getting your parenting plan in line is our top priority.

At Wilson-Goodman Law Group, PLLC, our knowledgeable and experienced team is going to get to work on your case and work to ensure your legal decision-making rights remain intact. We will investigate your case and be ready to go to court if necessary. When you need a Chandler legal custody attorney, you can contact us to schedule a one-on-one appointment to discuss your case by clicking here or call (480) 503-9217 today.