Emotions can run high when it comes to deciding how much time each parent is entitled to spend with their child following a divorce. No matter which side of the dispute you are on, not understanding the nuances of Arizona child custody and parenting laws can make it challenging to navigate these complex legal matters on your own. Although the terms “child custody” and “parenting time” are often used interchangeably, they are two different matters. A skilled child custody lawyer can help you understand the difference and fight for your rights, ensuring the best possible outcome for your case. In today’s post, we will review the difference between custody and parenting time and why it is important to have qualified legal representation in your corner.

John Dorris is an experienced Tucson divorce attorney, and he is ready to help you in your time of need. If you would like to learn more about protecting your parental rights, contact The Dorris Law Group today to request your free consultation.

Child Custody vs. Parenting Time

What Is the Difference?

When faced with a divorce or separation, many parents find themselves wondering what the difference is between child custody and parenting time. When you fight for custody of your child, you are fighting for the legal right to make care and welfare decisions for the child, including decisions about health care, education, and religion. If you are not awarded sole legal custody of your child, you must advocate for parenting time in order to have the opportunity to visit with your child. In short, child custody relates to the custodial parent who has legal decision-making abilities for the child, while parenting time is awarded to the non-custodial parent.

Who Makes the Final Decision?

There are many instances in which two parents can come to an agreement about custody and parenting time. If the parents cannot agree and the Arizona legal system is involved (i.e. there are formal divorce proceedings underway) the Arizona Superior Court will make a ruling on the matter that places the child’s best interests as a priority.

Why You Need a Child Custody Lawyer

Some parents wonder if it is necessary to hire a lawyer to represent them in their child custody case. Even if you and your partner have an amicable relationship and things seem to be progressing smoothly, chances are that you can still benefit from experienced legal counsel. A child custody lawyer will ensure your child’s best interests are the number one priority in the matter. The lawyer will also be very well-versed in Arizona laws and statutes that pertain to child custody and parenting time and they will have experience in the courtroom. Additionally, child custody lawyers are skilled negotiators. All of these traits combine to ensure that your case is resolved efficiently and professionally.

Experienced Tucson Divorce Attorney

Do you need assistance with your child custody case? Whether your case is associated with a divorce or not, Tucson divorce attorney John Dorris can help. Our firm will work tirelessly to advocate for your rights as a parent, and we will do everything we can to help ensure that you don’t miss out on valuable time with your child. To get started with a free consultation, call our team at 520-622-4866 today.