Can Fathers Ever Get Sole Custody of Their Kids?

If you’re separating or divorcing and you have kids, you need to contact a child custody attorney as soon as possible. It is important for both parents to have their own lawyer who will provide assistance in negotiating a parenting agreement for how parenting time should be shared.  

Traditionally, it was assumed that when a couple separated, the children would stay with their mother. Fortunately, this is no longer the case. Parents can share parenting time equally, or either parent could get primary or even sole custody of their kids. When the situation is appropriate, it may be the father who gets 100 percent of parenting time and the mother who gets limited or no visitation at all.

Singer Pistiner, P.C. understands Arizona custody laws and can help both mothers and fathers during a negotiation or litigation on the sharing of parenting time. If you are a father seeking full custody (or a mother trying to prevent a father from getting full custody), our firm is here to help. Call today to speak with a Scottsdale child custody attorney to find out about the assistance we offer.

When Can Fathers Get Sole Custody of their Kids?

Fathers can get sole custody of their children in two primary situations: the first is when the mother agrees and the second is when the court orders that the father is entitled to sole custody.

Whenever a couple separates, it is preferred that the parents work out a parenting agreement together without involving the courts. The goal of creating such an agreement is to facilitate an arrangement in which parenting time is shared in a way that makes sense. Parents can think about what will work for their family and come to a consensus on how a child should split time and on which parent should have authority to make decisions for children.

If parents are negotiating together on a parenting plan and they both agree that the father should have sole custody, this will typically become the plan. A court isn’t going to change the arrangement that the parents have come to when they mutually decide it is best for the child to be with his or her father.

If the parents do not agree, however, then the issue of how parenting time is divided has to be litigated. Arizona Revised Statute 25-403 indicates that the court considers a child’s best interests in determining how parenting time is shared. Usually, it is in a child’s best interests for each parent to have at least some parenting time.  This can make it harder for dads to get full custody, especially if the mother is also fighting for at least some parenting time, or if the mother is fighting for full custody.

There are exceptions to this general rule that it is best for a child to see both parents.  For example, the court considers things like the mental and physical health of all parties; the parents’ past relationship to the child; the child’s wishes; and any history of abuse which has occurred. If the court believes that a child would be safer with the father than with the mother and believes that the mother cannot provide a stable home for the child, then the court may grant sole custody to the father. Likewise, if there is a history of abuse or neglect perpetrated by the mother, the court is also likely to order that the father get all of the parenting time or substantially all of the time with the child.

A mother, or any parent, who is considered abusive or unfit to provide a stable home may have supervised visits or, in some limited situations, will have no access to the children at all.

How can a Scottsdale Child Custody Attorney Help Fathers Try to Get Custody?

When a father wants sole custody (or when either parent wants sole custody), it can be an uphill battle to convince either the court or the other parent that this parenting time arrangement is best. A Scottsdale child custody attorney at Singer Pistiner, P.C. can help a father to make strong arguments and present a solid case for why he should have full custody rather than sharing parenting time with the mother.

To learn more about the legal assistance we can offer during any custody dispute, give us a call at (480) 418-7011 or contact us online. You can also download our Free Divorce Guide to find out more details about how the process of custody proceedings works within a divorce context.


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