ARIZONA FAMILY LEGAL SERVICES
Are Split Child Custody Arrangements Approved by AZ Courts?
Every now and then, Arizona divorce attorneys meet a client who is looking for an unusual custody arrangement. Typically, the children are with one parent during the week and spend every other weekend with the non-custodial parent. Other times, we see children spend the entire summer with the non-custodial parent. It is very rare that we have a client specify that one child is to live with mom and the other child will live with dad. It’s hard to imagine how any parent could agree to something like this. However, everybody is different and it’s not the Arizona divorce attorney’s place to judge anybody. They’ll do their best to make your custody arrangements a reality as long as they believe it’s in the best interests of your children.
You and Your Spouse May Want to Each Have Primary Custody of One Child
For whatever reason, you and your spouse may have already agreed on a custody arrangement. Usually, this is done out of respect for a couple’s children. They don’t want their kids to see their parents fighting about where they’ll live. It’s highly unusual for a parent to ask for a split custody arrangement like this. There could be all sorts of reasons for this including:
- One of the children have a medical condition that requires full-time care
- One child goes to a private school too far from the other parent to accommodate
- There is an extensive history of aggression against one parent or the other
- The children are over the age of 15 and have made their desires clear
As long as both parents agree to a split custody arrangement, it can be included in the marital settlement agreement. However, the judge may tell you that they won’t approve the arrangement. This is rare. Typically, unless the judge feels a child is in danger, they will not change an agreed upon custody arrangement. Your Arizona divorce attorney will work closely with your spouse’s attorney to make this custody arrangement work.
The Judge May Not Think this is in the Best Interests of the Children
As mentioned above, if the judge feels the proposed custody arrangement is not healthy for your children, they can certainly reject it. If this happens, you may need to have a psychologist meet with the children to see what their feelings are when it comes to custody. Or your Arizona divorce attorney may need to come up with a different arrangement. It’s important that you understand that, if the judge doesn’t feel something is in the best interests of the children, they will not approve your custody arrangement.
You Don’t Want to Cause Permanent Damage to Your Child
Even if the arrangement is approved by the judge, that doesn’t mean it’s the best arrangement for your kids. When children have to deal with a complicated living arrangement, it has cause permanent damage to them both socially and emotionally. It’s important that you and your spouse focus on the children more so than your own needs and wants. There is a lot of evidence that states children need a relationship with both parents. It’s the best thing for them.
Your Arizona Divorce Attorney Can Help Create a Fair and Reasonable Custody Arrangement
Regardless of what sort of custody arrangement you’re looking for, your Arizona divorce attorney can help. They’ll work with your spouse’s attorney to come up with an agreement that is best for everyone involved. Call our office as soon as possible so you can schedule your initial meeting with a skilled Arizona divorce attorney.