How Are Child Custody Matters in Arizona Resolved?
It can be a challenging time for all parties involved when parents choose to divorce or separate. However, the children need to continue getting the same care as usual. Sometimes the parents can agree on a custody arrangement and how to raise the children by co-parenting, but at other times, parents cannot agree. When it comes to family law and child custody matters in Arizona, the court will decide on child custody when the parents cannot reach an agreement. In such cases, the court will usually order a parenting plan that will include the details about child rearing.
The parenting plan involves making decisions about how much time the child spends with each parent and which parent is the primary caregiver. When the court has to decide these matters, they focus on the health and welfare of the child. There are situations where unmarried parents, other relatives, or close family friends might ask the court for parenting time or custody of a child. The child’s best interests are given utmost consideration in such situations.
What Are The Differences Between Custody and Parenting Time in Arizona?
When it comes to family law in Arizona, you have probably heard the term custody used frequently. A legal term that refers to the right of a person to make decisions about a child’s care and welfare, the parent who has custody is referred to as the custodial parent. Usually, the child lives with the custodial parent the majority of the time. Decisions made by the custodial parent might include religious upbringing, health care needs, and educational decisions. Arizona law does not show favoritism to one parent over the other, and decisions are not based on the sex of the parent.
Parenting time, which can be called visitation, refers to the child being given the opportunity to spend time with the parent that doesn’t have sole legal custody. Usually, this parent is referred to as the “non-custodial parent.” Usually, issues involving parenting time or custody result from situations where parents ask the court for a legal separation or divorce from each other. Sometimes there are parenting issues between parents who were never married or who no longer live together. Just because a divorce is finalized, parenting time and custody issues are not automatically resolved. Parents often disagree regarding decisions involving the child, such as his or her education, health, and welfare as well as the child’s residence and the parenting time for the other parent.
What Are The Different Kinds of Custody?
Parents can agree on a plan themselves that details parenting time and custody. If the parents cannot reach a satisfactory agreement, then Arizona law comes into play and the legal system becomes involved. Only the Superior Court can make such decisions. When the term sole custody is used, that means one individual has custody of the child and that parent is responsible for making any major decisions pertaining to the child’s welfare or care. While the parents might discuss these matters, the parent who is authorized by the court to do so can make the final decision in the event that the parents do not agree.
In some situations, joint custody is used. This term can mean joint physical custody or joint legal custody or both of those. In order to get an order for joint custody in Arizona, both parents usually must reach an agreement and then submit a parenting plan to the court for approval. In addition to sole custody, courts in Arizona can grant joint legal custody and joint physical custody or the two combined. If parents are given joint legal custody, they do not necessarily have equal parenting time or joint physical custody. Consult experienced family lawyers to resolve child custody matters in Arizona.