How to Get Sole Custody in Arizona

Many who are considering divorce in Arizona procrastinate filing because they are worried about child custody issues. If you find yourself in this category, you’ve probably asked yourself so many questions they’ve started to blur together. Will I get custody? What’s sole custody? Is joint custody the best option? What if I don’t feel my kids are safe with my ex? Can I get sole custody of my child?

The first step in becoming comfortable with filing for divorce or responding to a petition for dissolution of marriage is to know what types of child custody scenarios are possible.

What is sole custody? Sole custody, now referred to as sole legal decision making, means that one person has sole legal custody of the child. This one person is responsible for making the major decisions regarding the child’s care. Both parents may discuss the matters as they arise, but the single parent designed as the sole legal decision maker by the court has the authority to make the final decisions in any situations when both parents do not agree.

What is joint custody? In Arizona, there’s no legal presumption that favors one parent over the other, so the Court many times concludes the parents should have joint legal decision. Joint legal decision making means both parents share the responsibility for major decision-making for the children equally. Physical custody and control of the child/children is also shared equally between both parents holding joint physical parenting time, if appropriate, or on some other parenting time schedule that suits the best interests of the child/children.

It’s not uncommon for individuals considering divorce or in the midst of divorce to be worried about the outcome of their case. In many divorce cases, the major contention is child custody. Once you know what types of custody the court might consider, you need to remember that the law does not prefer one form of custody over another and that the court does not prefer one parent over another because of the parent’s sex.


How to Get Sole Custody in Arizona | What You Need to Prove

Will the Arizona Divorce Court consider sole legal custody? Yes, sole legal custody will be considered when appropriate. If you believe the joint custody is an inappropriate solution in your situation, you can request sole custody. This would provide you with sole decision making authority in regards to all medical, education and religious matters that may impact the child or children.

Reasons the Court May Agree Sole Custody is Appropriate:

Drug or Alcohol Abuse
Child Abuse
Criminal History
Domestic Violence
Mental Health Problems
If your spouse has any of the above issues, it is probably appropriate for you to consider requesting sole custody of your child. The court will consider your request and come to a decision based on the best interests of the child.