If you are divorced or otherwise separated from the other parent of your child, you must decide on a plan for custody. It can be nearly impossible to understand the full scope of family law as it relates to custody options for a child. Arizona Family Law Attorneys can step in when your custody situation seems too much to handle. With our breadth of knowledge in family and custody law, we can provide solutions to ensure successful co-parenting and a bright and stable future for your child. If you’re a Phoenix resident in the midst of a custody battle, talk to a lawyer focused on family law as soon as possible to best understand your custody options.

What Different Types of Custody Exist?

It’s important to know that legal and physical custody is not the same concept. Most parents share equal parenting time—their child spends half their time with one parent and half their time with the other. If you have legal custody of a child, this means your responsibility to make important decisions on their behalf is not suspended when you’re not physically with them. Physical custody simply refers to which parent is legally documented as having the responsibility to house the child.

Joint legal custody is the most common custody option today. This means both parents must communicate about and agree on major decisions for the child regarding schooling, medical care and religious upbringing. Joint legal custody provides the most involvement for both parents in the child’s life. In these situations, one parent has primary custody of the child, which means the child lives in their home. The child uses that address of the parent with primary custody for the school they attend, their driver’s license, etc. The other parent may frequently see the child, which is referred to as visitation. If you have joint legal custody of your child and you believe it is not working in your child’s best interest, sole legal custody may be the better option.

In some unfortunate cases, one parent is deemed ineligible to care for their child. This can be for any reason. For example, some people are mentally unfit, have substance abuse issues, or a lifestyle that conflicts with child care. In this case, the parent that can best take care of the child is granted sole legal custody. This gives that parent complete authority over major decisions in their child’s life. A parent with sole legal custody is not legally required to consult the other parent for any approval regarding their child’s day-to-day life or plans for the future.

How Can I Learn All My Custody Options?

Trust a lawyer to attentively hear your concerns and help decide what custody options exist for you. Our lawyers here at Arizona Family Law Attorneys are compassionate and sensitive to the situation you are experiencing. We’re skilled divorced attorneys, so we understand what you’re going through. You don’t have to fight alone. If you are undergoing a custody battle, contact Arizona Family Law Attorneys as soon as possible for legal counsel you can lean on.