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Gilbert Child Custody Lawyer

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When filing for divorce in Gilbert, 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 child custody attorney on your side. The family law attorneys at 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 family law case.

Why Choose Us

  • Our law 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 family law attorney has over 20 years of experience, specializing in complex child custody cases and child support claims.
  • Our family law firm will handle all aspects of your case on your behalf. Throughout your case, our Gilbert divorce lawyers will be available to answer your questions and respond to your concerns.

Guidelines for Child Custody in Gilbert, Arizona

Family law courts in Arizona recognize two forms of custody: physical custody and legal custody.

  • Physical custody: Refers to the decision of which legal guardian or parent a child lives with.
  • Legal Custody: Refers to the right of an appointed guardian or parent to make significant decisions on a child’s behalf, such as where they will attend school.

It’s possible for a single parent (sole custody) or both parents (joint custody) to have physical or legal custody. For example, in a joint legal custody arrangement, both parents may have a say in major decisions that relate to their child. In a sole physical custody situation, on the other hand, the child will live with one parent full-time, even if the non-custodial parent shares in the legal custody arrangement.

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. With help from our experienced Gilbert child support lawyer, you can ensure your child’s needs are fairly assessed and financially supported by the non-custodial parent.

The Arizona family law 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 family law matters through mediation.

Divorce mediation in Gilbert 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.

Does it Matter Who Files First for Child Custody in Arizona?

It does not matter who files first in an Arizona custody case. The primary objective of the court is to provide for your child’s best interests, while ensuring they have access to a healthy and safe environment. Thus both sides will have their allegations, claims, and evidence reviewed impartially. During the legal process, the court considers a number of factors to determine which parent, relative, or third party can best provide for the child.

In most family law cases of this nature, the court will carefully review the existing status quo. Doing so allows the court mediators to become familiar with the parenting plan that’s been in place over the past months. They will also consider each party’s income, the percentage of time shared with the child, and the wishes of the child (depending upon their age). Our Gilbert child custody attorney guides you through the legal process and helps you make a strong case for your rights.

contact our Gilbert child custody lawyer today

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Child Custody Lawyer

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 online to schedule a free consultation with our Gilbert child custody lawyer and learn about your legal options. Call (480) 845-0251 to speak to a Gilbert family law attorney today and find out how we can help.

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