Determining Child Custody
Though the question of who will get child custody in a divorce may be common, the answer depends on several factors surrounding a couple’s divorce.
As a result, each party should discuss his or her rights and options with a Tucson family law attorney.
In the meantime, there are some general guidelines and considerations that influence a judge’s decision to award child custody to a particular parent.
Biological parents have legal rights to seek child visitation or child custody following divorce. In fact, biological parents retain this right whether the child’s parents were married when the child was born.
As in other child custody decisions, the court will prioritize the best interest of the child in deciding disputed custody cases involving unmarried fathers.
Unless evidence indicates otherwise, courts consider contact with both parents to be in the child’s best interests.
Best Interests of Your Child
Courts understand that custody decisions will affect the child’s development, as well as each parent’s relationship with the child for years to come.
Though the standard for the child’s best interest can be hard to define, courts take into account a number of common factors.
For example, courts consider the wishes of the child, so long as the child is old enough to express a reasonable preference. The court also considers the mental and physical health of each parent.
In most states, the family court will give preference to a parent that can show he or she was the child’s primary caretaker during the course of the marriage.
This factor is important, as psychologists have stressed the importance of the bond between a child and his or her primary caretaker.
In making this determination, courts focus on how the parents divided key responsibilities during the marriage, including meal planning, bathing, and health care arrangements.
At Thrush Law Group, our attorneys treat every family law case with the caring, personal attention it deserves. We have handled thousands of Arizona divorce, child custody and family law cases. Schedule a free family law consultation with a Tucson family law attorney.