Legal Custody: Legal custody involves decision-making authority. If parents cannot agree on a legal custody arrangement, the court will make a decision regarding legal custody. A parent with legal custody has the right to make important decisions relating to his or her children. These decisions usually include education, religion, and non-emergency medical care. In Arizona, the most common type of custody arrangement is joint legal custody, which requires that both parents share decision-making authority and cooperate in making important decisions for their children. However, joint legal custody does not necessarily mean the parents share equal parenting time. Today, Arizona courts presume that joint legal custody is in children’s best interests, unless one parent is unfit or simply refuses to co-parent with the other parent. A parent with sole legal custody has the absolute authority to make important decisions for his or her children.
Physical Custody/Parenting Time Physical custody is generally referred to as parenting time (which used to be called visitation). Generally, continuing frequent and meaningful contact with both parents is in a child’s best interest. Sometimes an equal physical custody arrangement is preferred. This means the parents share 50/50 parenting time. In other cases, one parent will be the primary residential parent, and the other parent will have reasonable parenting time. However, what is reasonable parenting time to one parent may not be reasonable parenting time to the other parent. When parents are unable to agree as to what constitutes reasonable visitation, the court will decide the matter.
Where a parent has a history of abusive or questionable behavior, it may be in the best interests of the children for that parent to have supervised visitation. Sometimes parents and the court will decide who supervises the visits, and other times the court appoints a person unknown to the parents. If supervised visitation goes well, after a period of time, a parent whose visits are supervised may petition the court for unsupervised visits.
For married couples with children, the most contentious and emotionally-charged aspect of a divorce is often associated with the terms of the custody and visitation agreements. Once these agreements are finalized, each and every term of those agreements is legally binding and enforceable. As such, it is essential that you have an experienced, dedicated legal team fighting on your behalf to help you secure a fair and favorable custody and/or visitation agreement.
The Phoenix child custody lawyers at Oracle Law Group, are deeply committed to working with you to protect your rights and the best interests of your family. Our all-female legal team can help you create, modify, or enforce the terms of custody and visitation agreements. We understand how emotionally invested you will be throughout the legal process, and our Phoenix lawyers will do everything they can to give you the support and attention you need.
Our Child Custody and Visitation Practice Areas
Depending upon your circumstances and those of your former spouse, creating, modifying, or enforcing the terms of custody and visitation agreements can be a complex and emotionally-draining process for any family. However, our empathetic and compassionate Phoenix legal team is here to advise you throughout any of the following legal processes:
- Modifications to child custody;
- Modifications to visitation agreements; and
- Enforcing custody or visitation agreements
The well-being of a child is always a parent’s first concern, and our legal team will be there with you every step of the way to protect the best interests of your family.
Consult with a Phoenix Child Custody and Visitation Attorney
At Oracle Law Group, our Phoenix child custody lawyers understand how important it is that any issues associated with child custody and/or visitation rights are resolved as quickly and favorably as possible. To discuss your particular custody and visitation needs with one of our Phoenix divorce lawyers directly, please call our Office at (480) 704-0777 today.