Parenting Time Schedules in The State of Arizona

parenting time schedulesWhen a couple with children splits up, whether they are married or not, it can be hard on the children. There are times when the couple cannot agree on how they want to do custody and how they want to establish physical residential time with the child. When parents can agree on a schedule, things work out a lot smoother for all parties involved. However, when they cannot agree, the court will have to intervene.

Types of Custody in Arizona

When parents cannot agree on what is best for the child, the court can decide which parent or if both parents should have decision making power.

Joint Legal Custody

Joint legal custody is when both parents share the major decision-making for the child. Neither parent is more special than the other unless it is specified by the parenting plan or the court.

Joint Physical Custody

Joint physical custody means that both parents spend equal time with the child. This does not mean that the parents also share joint legal custody. Physical custody refers to the physical residence of the child at a given time.

Sole Custody

Sole custody is when only one of the parents makes all major legal decisions for the child. The sole custodian of the child cannot change the parenting time without the agreement of the other parent.

Establishing Parenting Schedules

The purpose of the parenting schedules is to do what is right for the child. If parents cannot agree on a set schedule, the courts will have to intervene. They will have each parent make a schedule that works for them and then create a schedule that will be considered the master parenting time schedule in which both parents will be required to follow.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Schedule

  • Age and maturity
    • Age and maturity of the child play a big role in working out a parenting schedule. There are certain ages that have been broken down in the state of Arizona on how much time should be spent away from the primary home.
  • Child’s attachments
    • If the child has an attachment to one parent over another it can make parenting schedules harder and they may try to refuse to go. Gradually easing them into it may be what it takes to make parenting schedules work.
  • Flexibility
    • The flexibility of the child’s schedule and the willingness of the parents to accommodate this is important when planning a parenting time schedule.
  • Ability and consistency
    • It is important that the parent be able to handle the responsibility of the parenting time schedule. If they cannot take care of the child during this time, they should be honest about it. A child needs consistency and if the parents cannot commit to a set schedule it will make it harder on the child.
  • Communication
    • It is important to make sure that parents can communicate in reference to their children. If the parents cannot communicate then there is nothing that can be done except for enforcing a schedule in court and penalize them when they do not follow it. This is not conducive to the child. Communication is an important part of parents being able to share their children equally.

The Child Benefits with Parents Who Cooperate

When parents can get along for the child, they all benefit. Helping keep a schedule that is predictable for the child and allowing them constant contact with the other parent when they are not with them helps them keep strong bonds. Avoiding arguments when exchanging the child can help the child accept the arrangements better.

The child is the one who benefits most emotionally, mentally, and physically when parents can cooperate with one another. Things should always be done with the idea of what is best for the child.

Click here if you’re interested in learning about child support enforcement in Arizona.

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