When couples are in the midst of a divorce, the issue of who will have legal custody of any shared children can become quite heated. Naturally, parents want what is in the best interests of their children, and sometimes, they may have very different stances on the topic. The ever-changing landscape of child custody in Arizona can be difficult to navigate in the absence of a skilled divorce lawyer, and today, we’ll cover important information that you should be aware of in terms of the state’s custody laws.

Do you need assistance with your divorce or child custody case? Call the Dorris Law Group today. John Dorris and his team have years of experience helping parents just like yourself, and we would love to help you too. Call 520-622-4866 for a free consultation today.

Important Child Custody Information

Terminology Matters

While the term “child custody” is still used, as of January 1, 2013, Arizona courts use a different term. The courts now work to determine who will have “legal decision-making” authority over a child when his or her parents divorce. This shift in terminology is aimed to more accurately define the role of each parent in the post-divorce family.

Types of Legal Decision Making

After your divorce, you may be awarded one of two different kinds of legal decision-making authority over your child. The two different classifications are referred to as joint and sole legal decision-making authority.

  • Joint Legal Decision-Making Authority: Both parents must work together to make decisions regarding child-rearing.
  • Sole Legal Decision-Making Authority: One parent may make parenting decisions without the input or consent of the other parent.

The type of authority you are awarded does not equate to the amount of child support you owe. For example, a parent who is denied any type of decision-making authority may still be required to pay child support to aid in the raising of his or her children. If a parent is required to pay child support and fails to do so, the custodial parent is not permitted to deny parenting time to the non-paying parent.

The Importance of Parenting Plans

Many divorcing couples wonder if it is necessary to devise an amicable parenting plan with their soon-to-be ex. In the state of Arizona, parenting plans are required and they provide guidelines and expectations about how a couple will raise their children following a separation or divorce. It is in the best interest of all parties if the couple can reach an agreeable plan, however, in the event that they cannot, Arizona courts will impose one they feel is in the best interest of the child or children.

Child Custody and Divorce Lawyer Tucson

Do you need experienced legal counsel for your child custody or divorce matter in Tucson? Divorce lawyer John Dorris has many years of experience in such matters and is happy to review your case to determine your best course of action. Contact us now to speak with a friendly, knowledgeable member of our team.