You will be on a steep learning curve as a divorcing parent. As with anything you want to learn about, it can sometimes be hard to differentiate fact from fiction.
People will give you all sorts of advice, and while it’s usually well-meant, it might be incorrect. Remember, laws can change, and they also differ between states. So, what applied to your sister when she divorced in another state will not necessarily apply here in Arizona.
Here are some things people might tell you that are not true:
The court will favor the mother
Many people still think that children, especially if they are young or girls, are better off with their moms. Arizona law does not permit judges to consider the gender of the child or parent when deciding on custody.
Custody is all encompassing
People often fail to realize that there are two aspects to what is commonly referred to as custody. States give them different names, but under Arizona law, they are known as legal decision-making and parenting time.
Legal decision-making is typically shared. That mean both parents retain the right to make decisions about their child’s education, religion and healthcare. There are of course exceptions.
Parenting-time is again typically split. There is no preference for it being an equal split, but what courts consider crucial is that the child gets to spend time with both parents (unless there are convincing reasons why that would be harmful to the child).
The key thing to remember is that a court will seek to do what is in the child’s best interest. Consider help to learn more about custody and understand your options.