Child Custody

Mesa Child Custody Attorney

Over 3 Decades of Trial Experience Handling 5,000+ Family Cases

The Law Office of Phil Hineman, P.C. has handled over 5,000 family cases throughout its legal career and has been representing parents for more than 30 years. Particularly when it comes to child custody cases, you will need an experienced professional to champion your rights as a parent and protect your relationship with your child.

For accomplished and hardworking legal support in your Mesa child custody case, contact the Law Office of Phil Hineman, P.C. online or at (928) 224-3230 today.

Different Custody and Visitation Options

There are 2 categories of child custody in Mesa – legal custody (decision-making authority) and physical custody (parenting time). The court can award joint decision-making or sole decision-making between the parents, and it can award physical custody to one or both parents. Note that if the court awards one parent primary parenting time (the child lives with that parent more than half of the time), the judge will likely award the noncustodial parent reasonable parenting time with the child, such as visitation every other weekend, every other holiday, or half of all school breaks and vacations.

However, the court understands that there are some situations when parenting time between a parent and child may not be healthy if it risks jeopardizing the child’s mental or physical health or safety, such as if visitation may be with a parent who has a history of domestic violence against the child or the other parent. As a result, the court may either withhold parenting time or order supervised parenting time, moderated by a court-approved third-party or in a state-sanctioned visitation facility. If the parent seeks unsupervised parenting time, they must provide proof to the court that parenting time will not endanger the child or significantly impair the child’s emotional development.

How Will the Court Determine Child Custody in Mesa?

Parents can negotiate a custody arrangement on their own, in mediation, or, if no agreement can be reached, in a trial. Keep in mind that the judge does have the final say in most situations, though, as parents who create their own agreement must submit a draft to the court for approval or, if they cannot agree, must defer to a court decision. In both situations, a Mesa, Arizona judge will make the custody determination based on the child’s best interests, including:

  • the past, present, and potential future relationship between each parent and the child;
  • each child’s relationship with their parents, siblings, and anyone else who may affect the child’s best interest;
  • the child’s adjustment to home, school, and community;
  • the child and parents’ mental and physical health;
  • which parent is more likely to encourage a relationship between the child and the other parent;
  • whether either parent has committed domestic violence or child abuse;
  • whether either parent has intentionally misled the court to gain an advantage in the litigation or made a false report about child abuse or neglect;
  • the child’s wishes, if they are of suitable age and maturity; and
  • any other relevant factors.

Note that there is no specific age in Mesa when the court has to consider a child’s preference, so this will be a case-by-case determination. Generally, when deciding whether the child’s preference should influence the custody decision, the judge will examine whether the child’s reasoning stems from a permanent place, such as if they have a better relationship with one parent over the other. The court must consider the child’s preference if it meets the requirements, but keep in mind that it does not have to abide by the child’s choice if they believe doing so is not in the child’s best interest.

Let the Law Office of Phil Hineman, P.C. Protect Your Parental Interests

If you anticipate a custody battle in Mesa, Arizona, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Mesa child custody lawyer to fight for your side. Attorney Phil Hineman has more than 3 decades of experience representing families and can do his best to protect your parental rights and your child’s best interests.

Let the Law Office of Phil Hineman, P.C. guide you through your Mesa child custody case. Call (928) 224-3230 or contact the firm online to schedule a free consultation today.

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Phil Hineman has been providing bankruptcy, family law, and criminal law services for the community for over 25 years. Reach out to discuss your case today.