Phoenix Arizona Custody Attorney Laura Gillis

Legal decision making (formerly known as Custody) can be a difficult and divisive process, but remember: Put your children's best interest before your own.

When parents in Phoenix decide to separate, they must consider the issue of child custody. In the state of Arizona, both are given equal rights to custody of their children. The court will determine the best custodial arrangement based on the needs and welfare of the child.

Parents may agree to a shared or joint-custody arrangement, or one parent may be awarded primary physical custody while the other is granted visitation rights. It is important for them to work with an experienced child custody lawyer in Phoenix to ensure that their legal rights are protected and that their child’s best interests are considered when making any decisions regarding their care.

At the Law Offices of Laura Gillis, we understand the importance of caring for your children and protecting their interests. Our custody attorneys are dedicated to advocating for your rights as a parent and providing you with the guidance and support you need. We will work hard to ensure that your rights are respected in the courts while also helping to ensure that disputes are resolved quickly and amicably. Whether you need help negotiating a custody agreement or filing an appeal, our team is here to provide the legal guidance you need.

Keep Your Children's Best Interests In Mind

Legal decision-making (formerly known as Custody) can be a difficult and divisive process but remember: Put your child’s best interests before your own.


  • Never use your children as a weapon against your spouse.

  • Assure your children they are not to blame for the breakup and are not being rejected or abandoned by either parent.

  • Be sure your children have ample time with the other parent. They need it.

  • Don’t introduce your children to your new romantic interest until the children have adjusted to your separation and your new relationship is stable.

  • Don’t bring your children to court or to your lawyer’s office.

  • Don’t have your children write letters to the judge or to your lawyer.

  • Never bad mouth the other parent to, in front of,  or within earshot of your child. You may have issues with their other parent, but your child loves both of you unconditionally, and speaking negatively about their other parent hurts your child more than you will ever know.

  • Take what your child says about spending time with you and/or their other parent with a grain of salt.  Children often tell each parent what they believe that parent wants to hear. Let your attorney determine the appropriate way to have your age-appropriate child’s voice heard.

In the family court arena, nothing is more important to the parties than the issues regarding their children. Our law firm believes that if you are facing a custody matter, you need the assistance of an attorney. It is risky and far too dangerous to represent yourself unless you have the proper legal training to do so. Our law offices are often contacted to fix a legal decision-making or parenting time order that went badly. It is far more difficult and expensive to fix an issue that could have been handled correctly right from the start.

When making decisions about custody, it is important to keep your child's interests in mind. This includes considering the child's age, health, and the relationship between parent and child. It is also important to think about the living situation of each parent, as well as their ability to provide for the child's needs. Working with a knowledgeable custody attorney can help you make sure that your decisions are in line with what is best for your child. That way, you can rest easy knowing that your children are receiving the care and attention they need.

Invest in your child now. Nothing is more important than the relationship you have with your child.

What Relationship Will You Have with Your Child?

When it comes to the custody of your child, your relationship with your child is one of the most important considerations. The laws in Phoenix are designed to ensure that the interests of the child are always taken into account. Working with the lawyers at The Law Offices of Laura Gillis can help you ensure that you have a fair and reasonable arrangement for visitation rights, legal decision-making, and other issues related to parenting. Additionally, if there is any dispute between parents regarding custody, a lawyer can provide guidance on how to resolve it in the best interest of the child.

Your Constitutional Rights As A Parent

As a parent under Arizona state law, you are granted certain constitutionally protected rights. This means that the court must consider your interests as a parent when making decisions about custody. A Phoenix custody lawyer can help you understand and protect your rights in this process. They can also provide advice and representation on issues such as visitation, relocation, modification of existing orders, and other matters related to family law. With their help, you can ensure that your parental rights are respected in the courts of Phoenix.

Legal Decision-Making and Parenting Time

When it comes to custody, the courts in Phoenix focus on two main issues: legal decision-making and parenting time. Legal decision-making refers to which parent has the authority to make decisions regarding the child’s health, education, and other important matters. Parenting time is about how much time each parent will be allowed to spend with the child; if one parent will have or they will have equal parenting time. Finally, a parenting plan can be established as part of either a mediated or court-ordered agreement that outlines specific details about parenting time and legal decision-making.

Legal decision-making

When determining custody, the court must consider all relevant factors to determine what is in the interests of the child. This includes the parent’s wishes, the child’s wishes, the parent’s relationship with each other and with the child, and any other information that could help to inform the decision.

Joint decision-making

In Arizona, joint legal decision-making is a custody arrangement in which both parents are involved in making decisions related to the child’s health, welfare, and education. This type of arrangement is beneficial in many ways, as it allows both to be actively involved in their children’s lives. As such, a custody lawyer can help ensure that your rights and responsibilities regarding joint legal decision-making are properly documented. With their help, you can ensure that all decisions made about the child are in their best interests and comply with Arizona state law.

Parenting time

A parenting time arrangement is a plan for how parents will share their time with their children. This arrangement can be determined by the court or by mutual agreement of the parents. When establishing a parenting time arrangement, courts consider the interests of the children and strive to ensure that each parent receives an adequate amount of quality time with their children. Depending on the circumstances, parenting time may include regular visits and overnight stays, as well as holidays and special occasions.

Parenting Plan

A parenting plan is an important legal document that outlines the rights and responsibilities of each parent in a custody case. It should include provisions for physical custody, legal custody, decision-making authority, visitation schedules, and other important matters. Our law firm can help you draft a parenting plan that is tailored to your unique situation. We can also provide assistance with filing the necessary paperwork and attending court hearings. With our guidance, you will have the best chance of obtaining a favorable outcome in your case.

At a minimum, your parenting plan should include:


  • Whether one parent will have legal decision-making or if it will be joint legal decision-making

  • What each parent's rights will be regarding their child's healthcare, education, and religious upbringing

  • A parenting time schedule that includes holidays and vacations

  • Where parenting time exchanges will occur and transportation details

  • A plan put in place for resolving changes and disputes

  • Parent communication guidelines for their children


A skilled custody lawyer can help you craft a legal argument to support your position and make sure that your voice is heard in court. With our expertise and experience, we can help you achieve a favorable outcome.

Alternate Dispute Resolution

In most child custody cases, a judge will make the final ruling on which parent gets custody of the child. Our law firm can help you settle disputes through alternative dispute resolution (ADR). ADR is a process that is less formal than going to court and allows the parties to negotiate an agreement without the need for a judge or jury. This can be beneficial for families, as it allows them to have more control over the outcome of their case. Additionally, ADR can save time and money, as it avoids the costs associated with a lengthy trial. When considering a custody arrangement, it may be beneficial to work with a lawyer who specializes in ADR and settling child custody cases.

When Custody Trial Is Necessary

Deciding on custody is a process that takes time and effort to complete. In some cases, the couple may be able to reach an agreement on their own or through mediation. However, in other cases, they may need to go to a court trial to reach a decision. During a custody trial, both parents must present evidence regarding their qualifications as a parent. The court will then use this information to make its decision about which parent should have primary custody of the child.

Can My Child Decide Which Parent They Want To Live With?

Generally speaking, no. In most cases, the child’s preference, especially if it is a minor child, is not taken into consideration when determining the primary custodial and visitation rights of either parent. It is up to the court to determine what is in the best interest of the child when making a custody and visitation order. However, when it comes to older children, their opinion may be given more weight by the court if it is determined that they are capable of understanding their opinion and expressing it in a reasoned manner. Our qualified custody lawyers can help to ensure that your case is presented in such a way that your child’s opinion is heard and taken into account by the court.

How to Modify Child Custody

The process to modify child custody in Phoenix is more complicated than many expect. It is important to have a skilled custody lawyer on your side. Your lawyer can review the existing court order and advise you on if you are eligible for a modification. If so, they can then help you file the necessary paperwork and assist with any other proceedings or negotiations that may be needed. Your attorney will also be able to provide guidance on how to create an agreement that is fair for both parties and meets the needs of your children.

Don’t Confuse Past Due Child Support with Parenting Time

Many parents in Phoenix struggle to differentiate between past-due child support and parenting time. It is important to understand that these are two separate issues and cannot be used interchangeably. Past-due support payments are payments that have not been made according to the court-ordered amount. Parenting time, on the other hand, is a legally mandated schedule for time spent with the children. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Laura Gillis can help you better understand both of these issues and how they impact your family’s future.

What A Child Custody Attorney Can Do For You

A custody lawyer in Phoenix can help you navigate the legal complexities of a child custody dispute. A good child custody attorney will have extensive knowledge of Arizona family law and be able to help you understand your rights and obligations under the law. They can also provide valuable guidance on how best to proceed with your case in order to achieve the best possible outcome for all involved. By working with a knowledgeable attorney, you can ensure that your interests are protected throughout the process.

Whether you are seeking a court-ordered custody arrangement or negotiating an agreement with the other parent for joint custody. The custody attorneys at The Law Offices of Laura Gillis can assist our clients in finding a resolution that meets their needs and what is best for their children. From helping our clients prepare for court hearings to providing guidance on parenting plans and legal custody, they will be there to guide and support you throughout the process.

At our law firm, we understand that the process of seeking legal counsel can be intimidating. We prioritize creating a safe and supportive environment for all of our clients, no matter their situation. Our experienced attorneys will work with you to listen to your story and provide personalized advice on how to navigate the legal system. We recognize that every family is unique and requires a tailored approach, so we strive to ensure that each case receives the individual attention it deserves.

Arizona Law For Child Custody

Arizona law generally follows the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) when deciding custody cases. This law governs which state can hear a case, as well as which state’s laws will apply in any given situation. The UCCJEA also contains provisions for joint custody, legal custody, physical custody, and visitation rights. In addition to these laws, the court may also consider other factors, such as the interests of the child or parents involved. It is important to consult with a custody lawyer in Phoenix to ensure that your case is handled properly according to local law.

Reasons To Seek Sole Custody

Usually, child custody is shared between both parents, but sometimes there are circumstances that make one parent seek out sole custody for the interests of their children.

Child Abuse

If you are dealing with a custody case involving allegations of child abuse, it is important to seek legal representation from an experienced child custody lawyer in Phoenix. A lawyer can assess your case and provide advice on how to best protect the rights of both parent and child. A knowledgeable attorney can help create a plan that takes into account all relevant factors, such as the safety of the child and any special needs they may have. It is also important to understand the laws related to reporting suspected abuse in the state of Arizona in order to ensure that your legal rights are protected.

Domestic Violence

If you are dealing with a custody case that involves domestic violence, it is important to speak to a qualified child custody lawyer in Phoenix. A lawyer from our law firm can help you understand your rights and what the best course of action is for your situation. Our attorneys can also provide information about any legal protections you may be eligible for, such as orders of protection or supervised visitation.

Contact The Law Offices Of Laura Gillis Today

At The law offices of Laura Gillis, we understand how important your children are to you. We are ready to aggressively represent you in your child custody matter. In doing so, we will help navigate you through issues of legal decision-making, parenting time, and child support. Call today for a consultation at (602) 277-4736.