As you and your spouse divorce, the issue of custody will arise if you have children. You may bristle at the idea of sharing custody if you’re unhappy with your spouse. But they may nonetheless be a good parent. Yet, this subject could prove contentious if your spouse’s adverse actions caused your divorce. In this case, it may be worth pursuing sole physical and legal custody.

How does custody work in Arizona?

Arizona courts award custody based on your children’s best interests. Even if you harbor animus toward your spouse, they may be a perfectly fit parent. And often, children benefit from having both parents in their life, no matter their feelings toward each other.

Understanding the difference between physical and legal custody is also important. Physical custody determines whether your children will live with you or your spouse. And legal custody delegates which of you will make decisions about their well-being. As you two divorce, it’s crucial to consider whether sole physical and legal custody would benefit your children – or only you.

When is sole custody awarded?

Yet, your spouse’s behavior may prevent them from sharing custody with you. They may have engaged in adverse actions, including:

  • Abusing you or your children
  • Abusing alcohol or drugs
  • Neglecting your children’s basic needs
  • Abandonment
  • Parental alienation

If your spouse has endangered or harmed you or your children, you may receive sole physical and legal custody. Depending on the extent of their misdeeds, their visitation rights could face restriction, too – or be denied altogether.

Your children deserve to live in an environment where they feel secure and valued. Pursuing sole custody may prove the safest outcome for both you and them. A family law attorney can help you understand whether this arrangement is right for your circumstances.