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Child Custody

Children are often the focal point of family court proceedings.  From birth, children rely on their mother and father to keep them safe, happy, and healthy.  When child custody and parenting time are in dispute, the court is called upon to make tough decisions that affect the parties and their children.  At Scott Law Offices, we are always concerned about the impact that family court proceedings have on the children and work with our clients to minimize the effect of these proceedings.  We help our clients in their continued pursuit to protect and provide for their children.

As always, we work with each client to assist in reaching an agreement with regard to child custody, parenting time or visitation before placing the decision in the hands of the court.  When agreements cannot be reached, we are prepared to actively pursue litigation.

LEGAL CUSTODY

Scott Law Offices assists clients with sensitive custody cases in the greater Phoenix area.  Child custody in Arizona is often confusing and a Phoenix custody attorney can assist clients in understanding the important differences in physical custody vs. legal custody.  When the Court in Maricopa County talks about custody, they are almost always referring to legal custody.  Legal custody relates to the important decisions affecting the minor child and how those decisions will be made.  In a Phoenix custody case, when one parent has sole legal custody, that parent may make important decisions affecting the minor child without the input or consent of the other parent.  When the parties share joint legal custody, decisions are made together.  The court considers several factors in determining whether joint legal custody or sole legal custody is appropriate.   While obtaining sole legal custody is difficult, it is possible and is not reserved to mothers.  Sole custody for fathers is awarded if it is in the best interests of the child.

PHYSICAL CUSTODY

Physical custody is the parenting time or visitation that the parties will enjoy with the minor child.  In determining the best parenting time schedule or visitation schedule for a child, the court may consider the age of the child, the geographic location of the parties, the past involvement of the parents with the child, and other factors.  The court may also involve the assistance of a psychologist or counselor in determining what parenting plan is best for the child and in making recommendations to the court.   In certain circumstances, supervised visitation or other limitations on parenting time may be appropriate to ensure the safety of the child.  Scott Law Offices works with each client to create a parenting time schedule that works best for their child and that will provide them with stability and consistency.

TEMPORARY ORDERS

We have helped many clients in obtaining temporary orders for  child custody and temporary orders for parenting time when needed.  Temporary orders are typically used to put a plan in place pending a final trial.  Emergency  child custody orders and/or orders of protection are issued in cases where injury may result to the child if orders are not immediately made to protect them.  We believe that a child’s safety and stability are of the utmost importance and work with our clients so that the child has security and consistency in their life.

MODIFICATION OF ORDERS

As time goes on the circumstances of the parents often change and require modification of the court orders.  We request modifications of custody and visitation or parenting time when the orders that are currently in place need to be adjusted.  When a parent is required to relocate for their job, when the needs of the child change or when the parenting time schedule no longer meets the needs of the parties or the child, we petition for modification of the court orders.

STEPPARENT ADOPTION

Many parents get remarried and consider a stepparent adoption. There are 2 ways to approach this:

  1. Consent – Both biological parents must consent to the stepparent adoption, unless the other parent has had their parental rights terminated.
  2. Terminating Parental Rights – A parent can have their parental rights terminated if it is proven in a court of law that they have abandoned the child or that the parent is not, in fact, the biological parent.

Stepparent adoptions can be complicated and difficult for all parties involved. Scott Law Offices is the right choice for your child custody lawyer Peoria parents turn to when they need additional help involving their domestic and family cases. We put the children first and treat these situations as the delicate and sensitive processes that they are. We are here to listen and help you achieve the best possible outcome for your family.

“Without your (Christina Scott’s) help I would not be as close to one of the two most important things to me in this world.  Your compassion and ability to protect my interests as a father helped me get the one thing I, and my daughter needed the most, and for that I will never be able to thank you enough.” – CZ