In previous decades, fathers who wanted custody of their children after a divorce were out of luck. Traditionally, custody of children was typically awarded to the mother. In recent years, however, courts in Arizona and across the nation have encouraged more shared parenting child custody agreements.
When it comes to child custody, there are basically two types: physical custody and legal custody. Those who are granted legal custody have control over decisions that affect a child's well-being, like health care and education. Physical or residential custody focuses on where the child resides. These days, courts begin with a presumption of joint legal custody between parents, but courts are becoming more open to shared physical custody arrangements.
In modern America, 40% of children are born out of wedlock, which means that divorced dads are not the only ones seeking shared custody. According to records, courts these days show no favoritism between parents who were married or unmarried. Reportedly, unmarried dads with less economic weight -- who are seeking shared custody -- fare better these days than in the past. Today, records indicate that a majority of custody arrangements are being resolved without a trial. This is good news for fathers who are seeking equal custody.
As a whole, studies have shown that dads today are more involved in the lives of their children than in previous generations. Children benefit from the stability and security of a shared parenting custody agreement. However, child custody laws will vary state to state. Parents in Arizona who have questions about child custody may want to consider consulting a legal representative. An experienced attorney can answer difficult questions and help parents navigate the custody process.