Child Custody Determinations

Joint Custody Versus Primary Custody

Legal custody in Arizona refers to the responsibility for making major decisions regarding a child’s upbringing, care and welfare. When legal custody is split between both of a child’s parent’s, joint custody has been granted. If, however, legal custody is granted only to one parent, that parent will have primary or sole custody of the child.

Although Arizona laws and courts do not favor one type of custody over another and they are not supposed to make custody decisions based on parents’ gender, custody issues and cases can still be complicated and contentious. As a result, having an experienced attorney – like Scottsdale Custody Lawyer Karen A. Schoenau – on your side, advocating your rights, can be critical to favorably resolving joint custody versus primary custody disputes.

Joint Custody Versus Primary Custody: What the Court Considers

Ideally, divorcing parents will agree about how custody and related issues are to be resolved. This, however, is not always possible, and when parents cannot agree on joint custody versus primary custody, it will be up to the family courts to step in and resolve the matter.

Child Custody Determinations
When joint custody versus primary custody is disputed, you can trust Scottsdale Custody Lawyer Karen Schoenau for experienced help and favorable resolutions.

When making decisions regarding joint custody versus primary custody, the single most important factor the courts will consider is what is in the best interests of the involved child(ren). In this regard, some of the more specific factors that may be considered can include:

  • The child(ren)’s wishes regarding joint custody versus primary custody
  • The parent’s wishes regarding the custody split
  • The child(ren)’s relationship and interactions with each parent
  • The health of each party involved (including whether either parent may have any issues that could impact the health and wellbeing of the child)
  • Whether either parent is more (or less) likely to promote meaningful contact with the other parent
  • Whether the child would have to adjust to a new school and/or community
  • Whether either parent has provided primary care forr the child in the past.
Joint Custody Versus Primary Custody: Other Considerations

Once a court issues a ruling regarding joint custody versus primary custody, here’s what parents should be aware of:

  • Child support obligations – Per Arizona law, when rulings regarding joint custody versus primary custody are made by the court, the court must also issue orders regarding child support. Just because joint custody may have been awarded doesn’t mean there won’t be child support obligations.
  • Modifications – It’s possible to alter custody orders in the future if or when the circumstances of either parent may change. To pursue modifications, parents will have to submit petitions to the court.
Scottsdale Custody and Family Law Attorney at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau

Do you need help resolving any custody-related issues? If so, you can trust Scottsdale Custody Attorney Karen Schoenau for experienced help, honest answers and effective representation. Since 1987, Karen Schoenau has been committed to helping people favorably resolve their sensitive family law matters, including complex cases related to custody and divorce.

To receive professional advice and learn more about your best options for resolving your custody case, schedule an initial consultation with Attorney Karen Schoenau. You can set up this meeting by calling 480-209-1918 or by emailing us using the contact form.

From her offices based on Scottsdale, Attorney Karen Schoenau represents clients throughout the metropolitan Phoenix area and the state of Arizona, including in Scottsdale, Mesa, Surprise, Maricopa County, Pinal County, and Gila County.

Client Reviews
Karen is highly respected in the legal community. She is effective and thorough. Karen just keeps going regardless of the odds.
Karen was extremely helpful setting up my petition for conciliation. She is by far the most knowledgeable attorney regarding the necessary paperwork, how to file the petition and where it has to be submitted. She listened intently when I was describing my situation and intentions. She was very responsive to my questions and request. She is trustworthy and diligent . I would recommend her to anyone having marital issues. Mark
Very high customer/client considerate. We found Karen when we were forced to leave another Phoenix lawyer due to his bad advice and lack of interest to help us. We were in Phoenix for six days from Michigan with nothing happening but a high wasted expense. Karen and her firm took us in and solved our issue with the courts etc. in two and a half days. Karen’s professionalism with us was very cost effective/productive. If we would have found her first, we would have saved thousands of dollars. Her interest for us was very high. She returned every call. She knew every answer to our questions. She did this for us with a death in her family. She left for a funeral and made sure we were treated with the same professionalism from her firm to finish up. I recommend Karen and her firm with very high satisfaction. Our case is custody with one parent in prison. We will return to Phoenix someday with interests for the child and his parent, if needed. Karen will be our top choice. Nolan
Karen and Bonita are wonderful!! I know that the word "wonderful" is used a lot, but the team they make and the work they did for me can only be described as WONDERFUL!! Yes there where ups and downs in my case, but that is the system and Karen along with Bonita guided and taught me as "WE" went through it together. Karen’s easy going manner and her knowledge really helped me with the emotional part of my divorce. I used the team of Karen and Bonita both times I needed to go to court with my ex and had results that were best for my little girl. Some times I did not get what I wanted, but it was what my daughter needed. Looking back at my case, I made the right choice and would do it again in a heart beat!! Jim
Karen was extremely supportive during a very trying time in our lives. She helped me to put things in perspective and think positive when I was overwhelmed. She is very knowledgeable about the laws pertaining to grandparents rights and the rights of the parents and knew how to provide the appropriate laws pertaining to the situation we were in. I am so grateful for her expertise and guidance. She proved to be very aggressive when she needed to be but was also supportive to my and my children. I would recommend her to anyone in a similar situation. Deanna