Parenting Time Attorneys (Child Custody)



Parenting Time Attorneys (Child Custody)

As of January 1, 2013, “custody” is not a legal term in Arizona. Instead, the statutes distinguish between legal decision-making and parenting time. When parents are unable to agree, a judge will decide what is in the children’s best interest, and grant legal decision making and parenting time in accordance with Arizona statutes. Arizona parenting time or child custody disputes are controlled by Arizona Revised Statute Title 25 Chapter 4.

The statutes generally favor joint legal decision making (both parents have an equal say) and maximizing both parent’s time with the children, often in a 50-50 schedule.

Pursuant to A.R.S. §25-403, the Court must apply an eleven part test to determine what is in a child’s best interest. The statute also requires the Court to make specific findings on each of these eleven parts in any contested case. Factors such as domestic violence and the mental health of all parties are very important. In many cases, the Court will appoint a third party to help make recommendations regarding the children’s best interest. These third parties are generally health care professionals, including child psychologists, and are on a list of Court-approved advisors. The judges rely very heavily on reports made by these Court-appointed advisors in making their final ruling.

A contested custody matter is generally decided in an evidentiary hearing. Each side will receive half of the time, often 3 hours or more, in which to call witness, experts, or provide their own testimony and arguments. Most often, the judge will take your matter “under advisement” and make a ruling within a few weeks, although pursuant to Arizona law judges have up to 60 days to make a ruling. Rulings are made in writing (called a minute-entry) and are given to both parties simultaneously. In a divorce case, these hearings and rulings can often include other issues not related to decision-making or parenting time, such as community property and spousal maintenance.

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Call our experienced parenting time (child custody) attorneys today at (480) 833-1113 or send us an email using the form below. We will protect your visitation and custody rights and your family’s well being.

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