Most divorcing parents in Arizona will share custody. The parents will have to work out a parenting plan that involves frequent exchanges of the children and alternating holidays.
Still, some parents retain sole custody after their divorces. Although sole custody is less common, it may still be an option. When might the Arizona family courts agree to award one parent sole custody of the children?
When it is in the best interests of the children
Major custody decisions should all focus on what is best for the kids. Usually, family law judges want to see both parents involved in the lives of the kids after a divorce. However, not all parents act in the best interests of their children.
If your ex has a history of violent behavior, substance abuse issues or other documented personal instabilities, a judge might agree that giving you full custody would be better for the children. Generally, you will need corroborating evidence or testimony from experts to support your claim that it would be better for the children if you have sole custody.
When one parent doesn’t ask for parenting time
Sometimes, a parent doesn’t relish the idea of handling the children alone. Maybe they have a demanding job, or perhaps they just don’t feel comfortable meeting the emotional needs of young children.
In a situation where your ex does not ask for parenting time or indicates that they will likely leave the state frequently for work after your divorce, your custody arrangements may give them visitation rather than shared custody. They may even agree to those terms outside of court, allowing for an uncontested divorce filing.
Thinking about the needs of your children and learning about the family law system in Arizona can help you seek a reasonable and appropriate outcome in custody proceedings.