When parents separate or divorce, care for the children must continue. If the parents cannot agree on a plan for raising the children, the court will order a plan or decide matters concerning their health and welfare. Often this includes making decisions about how much time the child will spend with each parent and which parent will be the primary caregiver.
In some situations, unmarried parents, relatives or other persons also may ask the court for custody or parenting time. In each case, the court's decision is based on the child's best interests. This article is intended to provide general information about custody or parenting time.
It is not a complete nor authoritative review of these subjects and reflects the laws of the state of Arizona only as of the date of its publication. The booklet is not intended to be a guide to obtaining or changing legal custody or parenting time. Questions about specific situations should be discussed with an attorney.
Custody is a legal term referring to the right of a person to make decisions about the care and welfare of for example, decisions about education, health care and religious training.
The parent with custody is often called the "custodial parent. The law does not favor one form of custody over another, nor do they base their decisions on the sex of the parent. Parenting time also sometimes called "access," "contact," "residential time," or "visitation" is a legal term referring to the opportunity for the child to spend time with the parent who does not have sole legal custody.
This parent is often called the "non-custodial parent. Custody and parenting time problems arise most often when parents ask the court for a dissolution of the marriage divorce or a legal separation. However, custody problems may also arise between parents who have never been married or who no longer live together. Custody and parenting time problems do not go away after the divorce is final. In these situations, parents sometimes disagree about who makes decisions affecting the child's health, welfare and education, where the child lives and how much parenting time a non-custodial parent has.
Parents may agree between themselves about custody or parenting time; however, if the parents cannot agree and if the Arizona legal system becomes involved for example, when a parent asks the court for a divorceonly the Superior Court may decide these issues. This means that one person has sole legal custody of. Although both parents may discuss these matters, the parent deated by the court has authority to make final decisions in the event the parents do not agree.
This means t legal custody or t physical custody or both. In most cases, in order to obtain an order for t custody, both parents must agree to and submit a written parenting plan to dating a Yuma woman tips court. In addition to sole custody, the law allows the court to grant t legal custody and t physical custody or both.
When legal custody is awarded to one parent, it is called "sole legal custody. In the best interest of the child, the court may direct that certain decisions be made by only one parent, even when t legal custody is granted. The court may order t legal custody without ordering t physical custody. If parents have t legal custody, does the child live with each of them for equal amounts of time?
Not necessarily. Having t legal custody does not mean that parents also have t physical custody or equal parenting time see sectionArizona Revised Statutes. When the court grants t physical custody, the place where the child lives the child's physical residence is shared between the parents in a way that the child will have essentially equal time and contact with both parents. t physical custody may be granted in situations where parents share t legal custody or when one parent is granted sole custody.
Arizona law does not favor one form of custody over another. Also, the court may not prefer a parent as a custodian because of that parent's sex.
The court may grant a custody order only in certain kinds of cases. Most often, custody is determined when the parents are seeking a legal separation or divorce, or when parents are asking the court to change a custody decision that was made in an earlier separation or divorce case. Custody also may be ordered when one parent starts a court case to decide paternity or maternity of.
When a parent starts a court case for legal separation or divorce and the parents cannot agree about child custody, custody automatically becomes an issue for the court to decide. These court decisions are made in temporary orders hearings and in final trial if the parties are unable to reach agreement.
After a decree of legal separation or divorce has been granted, the court still has authority to change modify an earlier custody order. Either parent may request in writing that the court modify a custody order.
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To change an existing order it must be shown that the best interests of the child are served. The request is filed with the Clerk of the Superior Court and a fee for filing is charged; however, there are limitations on requesting a modification. For example, a request may not be filed for one year from the date of the earlier order, unless there are special circumstances seriously endangering the child's physical, mental, emotional or moral health.
If a form of t custody has been ordered, a modification may be requested at any time if there is evidence that domestic violence, spousal abuse or child abuse has occurred since the date the last order was granted. In a t custody situation, a parent must wait six months before seeking a modification if the reason for the request is that one parent has failed to obey the court's custody order.
If there is a dispute about custody, the court sometimes refers the parents to internal court mediation services. This process gives the parents an opportunity to reach an agreement regarding custody and related issues; however, if the parents are unable to agree on custody, the court will decide for them. Sometimes the court seeks professional advice from outside experts who evaluate the family situation or offer an opinion about custody. In some situations, the court also may order an investigation by a social service or other agency. In every case, the court must decide custody based on a determination of the best interests of the.
Usually it is best if parents can agree on decisions about raising children after a legal separation or divorce. The court usually accepts the parents' mutual decision, but the court's decision about custody must be made in the best interests of the .
After review of the agreement's terms, the duty imposed on the court by law may require that the court not accept the parents' agreement. What does the court consider when deciding what is in the child's best interests in custody disputes? State law provides guidance to the courts by listing factors that the court should consider.
These include such things as the wishes of the parents, the child's wishes, how the child interacts with each parent and any other children in the family, the health of each person involved, the child's adjustment to home, school and community, which parent primarily has provided care for the child in the past and which parent is more likely to allow the child to have frequent and meaningful contact with the other parent. The court also must consider whether there has been domestic violence in the family, drug or alcohol use by a parent or other circumstances that may endanger the child's physical, mental, emotional or moral health.
The court will p that an award of custody to a parent who committed an act of domestic violence is contrary to the child's best interests. If the parents request t legal custody, they also must submit to the court a written plan parenting plan indicating how they will cooperate to raise and care for the. The court also may order t legal custody even if one parent objects.
The court's decision will be made in the best interests of the .
The law provides that when the court grants a custody order, it also must decide what amount of child support should be paid, by each parent, under the Arizon Support Guidelines. t custody does NOT mean that either parent is no longer responsible to provide for the support of the.
The law provides that dating a Yuma woman tips person who stands in loco parentis to may ask the court for custody or parenting time. To be in loco parentis a person must have been treated as a parent by the child and have formed a meaningful parental relationship with the child for a substantial period of time. There are other requirements that must be met before a request may be made to the court. One of the child's parents must be deceased, the child's legal parents must be unmarried, or a court case for divorce or legal separation between the legal parents must be pending see sectionArizona Revised Statutes.
How can a parent obtain school, medical and other records of their child after divorce? No matter which form of custody is ordered, both parents are entitled to the same access to all records pertaining to their child unless the release of such information would place the child or one of the parents in danger see sectionArizona Revised Statutes. If both parents live in Arizona, the parent with physical custody desiring to move with the child must give 60 days' notice to the other parent before the child may be moved more than miles from the other parent or from the state.
The day period gives sufficient time to the non-moving parent to request a hearing to stop the move. A parent who is required to relocate in less than 60 days must be a parent with t physical custody and have the agreement of both parents or a court order allowing the move of the .
If agreement cannot be reached in the situation of required relocation in less than 60 days, the moving parent must file a request with the court. deserves to have a good relationship with both parents. When parents do not live together, the child should have the opportunity to spend time with each parent. State law entitles a parent to reasonable rights of parenting time to ensure that has frequent and continuing contact with the parent. However, parenting time can be limited, or even denied, if the child's physical, mental, moral or emotional health would be seriously endangered by parenting time with a parent.
First things first is arizona’s early childhood agency, committed to the healthy development and learning of young children from birth to age 5.
That depends on the child's age and stage of development. For example, it may not be appropriate to have lengthy periods of parenting time with a newborn child, although more frequent shorter visits may be appropriate. Some counties Coconino, Maricopa, Mohave, Pima, Pinal and Yavapai have established guidelines to help parents and the courts decide how much parenting time is important to the.
The Arizona Supreme Court has also published Model Parenting Time Plans to assist parents in establishing age-related parenting time schedules; however, it is important to remember that guidelines do not apply to all family situations or to all children. If the parents cannot agree on a schedule, the court decides parenting time on a case by case basis see listing at the back of this booklet for information on obtaining a copy of the Model Parenting Time Plans.
The term "reasonable parenting time" means time spent with that is average for most cases.