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Understanding Arizona laws for child custody

Child custody can be a contentious issue in Arizona and led to major problems between the parents. If the couple is no longer together and in a relationship, it stands to reason that, there will be differences between the parties. Unfortunately, that often extends to handling the children. One issue that comes up has to do with legal decision-making. Understanding the laws when it comes to custody and decision-making is essential.

The term "custody" is no longer even used by the Arizona courts. It is now "legal decision making." Joint legal decision-making means that the parents will share the decisions made related to the child. Neither of the parents will be superior to the other, except when the court makes certain specific statements as to the decision making on the child's behalf. With joint physical custody, the physical residence of the child will be shared in a way that the child will have substantial and equal time and contact with both parents.

Parenting time refers to the periods in which the child will be with one parent or the other. While parenting time is shared, the parent who has the child will make the basic decisions on the child's behalf. The parent who has the right to legal decision making will still make the major decisions. If there is sole decision making, the parent who is granted that right will be the one who makes the decisions without having to consult with the other parent, if he or she does not want to do so.

Since child custody is one of the more difficult aspects of a relationship between parents who are no longer together, it is wise to have a grasp on how parents make decisions for the child and what the law says they can and cannot do.

There could be disagreements regarding this issue. For assistance with parenting plans, joint custody, legal custody and any other legal matter related to children, it is imperative to have assistance from an aggressive attorney who is cognizant of the major and minor details of custody.

Source: SuperiorCourt.Maricopa.gov, "What are the types of Legal Decision Making in Arizona?," accessed on April 11, 2017

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