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Gilbert Child Custody Lawyer

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When filing for divorce in Arizona, you and your former spouse will need to make a series of important decisions. One of the most important—and often the most difficult—is determining child custody arrangements in Gilbert. You and your spouse may have different opinions on custody, which can lead to stress and emotional turmoil.

In these situations, you need an experienced custody attorney on your side. The Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau can guide you through the process and advocate for your child’s best interests during each stage of your case.

Why Choose Us

  • Our firm is prepared to fight for your family’s rights during the Gilbert child custody process. Our case strategy will always prioritize the best interests of your child.
  • Our attorney has over 20 years of experience in family law, specializing in complex child custody cases and child support claims.
  • Our firm will handle all aspects of your case on your behalf. Throughout your case, we will be available to answer your questions and respond to your concerns.

Guidelines for Child Custody in Gilbert

There are two types of child custody in Arizona. Legal custody refers to a parent’s authority to make decisions for a child, while physical custody involves parenting time. The court may grant joint legal custody between parents, or award one parent with the responsibility.

When determining physical custody, Gilbert courts will create a parenting time schedule. One parent will usually have 50 percent or more of the parenting time and be known as the custodial parent. The other parent will be known as the non-custodial parent but will be awarded reasonable parenting time.

The court will base its decision on the best interests of the child. It may take the following factors into consideration when creating a custody agreement.

    • The child’s past, present, and future relationship with each parent

How the child may adjust to changes in his or her home, school, or community

  • Which parent is more likely to encourage a healthy relationship between the child and the other parent


The physical and mental health of the child and both parents


  • Whether either parent has committed child abuse or domestic violence
  • The child’s preferences, if he or she is old or mature enough to provide an intelligent decision
  • Whether either parent has made a false report to the court in order to gain leverage in the case


Trial Versus Mediation in Gilbert Child Custody Cases

When filing for divorce in Arizona, a case may proceed to trial and a court will determine a child’s custody arrangements based on its judgement. The trial process can be lengthy, expensive, and unpredictable, which can place additional stress on a parent. Alternatively, parents can choose to control child custody arrangements by resolving their case through mediation.

Mediation is a process where a neutral third-party mediator guides a couple through the terms of their divorce. At the conclusion of the process, if successful, the couple will be able to submit a divorce agreement to the court that they have agreed upon—which will include child custody arrangements in Gilbert. This process offers more control and typically settles cases faster than trial.

Schedule a Consultation Today

Whether your case ends in the courtroom or the mediating table, the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau can advocate for your rights and your child’s best interests. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our Gilbert child custody lawyer and learn about your legal options.

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