Parents who file for joint custody of their child must create and sign a parenting plan in accordance with Arizona State law. Joint custody is a type of legally mandated custody in which custody is designated to both of the child’s parents. This means both parents have the legal authority to make important decisions on behalf of the child. The goal of the parenting plan is to establish an optimal plan for the best interest of the child. When you predetermine a solid parenting plan, both parents have a set of rules and regulations that are agreed upon and set the framework for the co-parenting process moving forward. This mitigates the risk of any negligence in the future or dispute between parents about what’s best for the child. An Arizona child custody lawyer can help execute a parenting plan that best accommodates the child as well as both parents.

What Is a Parenting Plan?

According to Arizona State law, parents with joint custody are legally required to draft, negotiate, and establish a parenting plan. It must be signed by both parties to legally bind them to the document’s requirements. A child’s needs vary based upon their age, medical well-being, and even their individual personality. A parenting plan is a finely customized document that also accounts for the parent’s lifestyles and other factors that may affect their custody of the child.

Generally speaking, a parenting plan is a detailed framework for how parents plan to care for their children. A medical care plan is one of the most important factors of this plan. It’s best if both parents pre-determine what kind of medical care the child will receive, so in the event of an illness or injury, there’s no room for dispute. In an unfortunate case where a child requires a major medical procedure or intensive treatment, there may be little to no time to negotiate at that moment. A parenting plan proactively addresses this very issue.

A housing plan is the benchmark issue of the parenting plan. Parents must determine where the child will live and when they will stay with the other parent and for how long. Since joint custody means switching back and forth, there must be a legally documented plan to avoid any issues.

How Do I Deal with Religious Differences in Our Parenting Plan?

A child’s religious path is another highly personal aspect of their upbringing. If parents have discrepancies over which religion the child will practice and how involved they will be in the community of that religion, it can be a difficult situation to legally address without a pre-documented plan.

A parenting plan designates a general description of how disputes will be resolved. This provides a strong foundation for joint custody, encouraging a smooth transition from parenting together, to parenting apart.

How Do I Get a Parenting Plan That Works for My Family?

Family law attorneys are skilled in creating customized parenting plans that serve as a legal basis for the joint custody process. We serve Maricopa County and many other areas in Arizona. Contact our firm at any time for advice and an initial consultation of you and your family’s situation.