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Things to Know: Parenting Time and Legal Decision Making

Things to Know: Parenting Time and Legal Decision Making

Parents interested in discovering what parenting will be like post-divorce can gain access to almost unlimited information with today’s technology. In some instances, the sheer amount of information available can be overwhelming. If you are interested in a simple idea of what is involved when divorcing in Arizona with children, it’s best to start by getting to know parenting time and legal decision making.

What is Legal Decision Making? This is a legal term used to refer to the right and responsibility of an individual to make nonemergency legal decisions on behalf of a minor (i.e. education, health care, religion, personal care). Parents can be awarded sole or joint legal decision making. When determining the level of decision making according to the child’s best interests, the court will consider certain factors as set down by Arizona state law (A.R.S. Section 25-403(A) and 25-403.01(B)). Legal decision making was previously referred to as “custody.”

What is Parenting Time? This refers to the schedule of time delineating which parent has access to the child on what days/time periods. During their scheduled “parenting time” each parent is responsible for providing the child with food, clothing, shelter and should make routine decisions regarding the child’s day to day care.

While the information included here will not serve as a guide on how to obtain or change legal decision making or parenting time, additional questions and discussion of particular situations can be addressed to the experienced Arizona divorce lawyers at Arizona Family Law Attorneys. Legal decision making can be granted to a person other than the parent by the court, but in most instances this is not the case so the information provided here will be assuming that parents will be seeking legal decision making or parenting time. Arizona state law in regards to the information that follows can be found in Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 25, Chapter 4.

When there is a separation or divorce and the couple involved has children, the care of the children must continue uninterrupted. When parents cannot agree on a specific plan for raising their own children post-divorce or separation, a plan will be provided for them through court order. In this instance, the court can decide matters concerning the child’s health and welfare. The court ordered plan will typically contain specific information regarding how much time the child will spend with each parent and how decisions made on behalf of the child will be shared between the parents (i.e. education, health care, religion, personal care, etc.) The court’s decisions are based on the child’s best interests.

Get in touch with one of the experiencedArizona divorce lawyers at Arizona Family Law Attorneys today if you have other questions about how legal decision making and parenting time.


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