What is Legal Decision Making in Arizona Custody Cases?
Unlike many other states that use the term “custody” when referring to child-related decisions in a divorce, Arizona has adopted the use of “legal decision making” as its preferred method of making certain determinations about a child’s care. This change in vernacular can be confusing for many parents navigating an already complex issue, but atSingular Law, our experienced Arizona family law attorneys are here to help. Call or contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation.
What is Legal Decision Making?
In an Arizona divorce, when children under the age of 18 old are involved there are two major decisions that must be made regarding their care: who makes the decisions about their care and where they will live. Decisions about a child’s care are known in Arizona aslegal decision making. Legal decision making covers all types of decisions about a child’s upbringing, including the following:
Emergency and nonemergency medical care,
Vacations and other travel, and more.
The courts in Arizona prefer joint legal decision making, where both parents are given a say in their child’s care and cooperate in the raising of their child. However, it does allow for sole legal decision making by one parent if there is strong evidence presented to the court which proves that the other parent should not be making decisions about a child’s welfare. Common examples of when sole legal decision making is appropriate include when one parent suffers from substance abuse problems, untreated and serious mental illness, there is a history of domestic violence, or if a parent is relocating a significant distance away.
What is Parenting Time?
Parenting time is different from legal decision making in Arizona. Parenting time is the other major aspect that must be determined for children in a divorce case and refers to the schedule and circumstances for when a child is physically in the care of each parent. Other states refer to this as physical custody, and the courts prefer that parents split their parenting time equally, if possible. There are situations where a parent may retain sole legal decision making, but the other parent may be allowed some parenting time with the child. An experienced family law attorney can help you understand the difference between these concepts and provide the best possible advice on the legal decision making and parenting time in your divorce case. To learn more, talk to our office today.
Call or Contact Singular Law Now
Having a say in the care and upbringing of your child is important to parents, and the experienced Arizona family law attorneys at Singular Law understand how critical it is for their clients to continue to have a say in their child’s life. If you are interested in learning more about legal decision making or parenting time regarding your divorce case, call the office orcontact us online today to speak with one of our lawyers and schedule an initial consultation of your case.