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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Can You Lose Custody For Not Co Parenting?

Can You Lose Custody For Not Co Parenting

Yes, it is possible to be stripped of child custody when not co-parenting properly. Let’s take a look at some factors that can lead to changes in custody agreements.

Is It Possible To Lose Custody For Not Co-Parenting?

Yes, you can be stripped of custody if a court finds that you are not adequately co-parenting a child. This typically occurs when one parent is failing to follow a set visitation schedule or consistently arriving late for pickups and/or drop-offs.

The court can also find that you are not properly co-parenting if you are consistently failing to communicate with the other parent regarding important child welfare concerns. Parental alienation is the terminology used when you wish to cut one parent out of a child’s life. When it comes to each child’s right to receive love and affection from both parents, family court judges are very strict.

The court will ultimately look out for the child’s best interest. If the court finds that bad co-parenting methods have had a negative impact on a child, they may decide to strip custody, at this time.

What Is Bad Co-Parenting?

There are five common factors that can contribute to either a mother or father losing custody as a co-parent.

Child Neglect

Neglecting the welfare of the child is a glaring indication that a parent does not have the capacity to raise said child in the best manner possible. Failure or inconsistency providing basic needs for the child can be grounds for losing custody. Basic needs include shelter, food, clothing, healthcare, education, etc.

Child Abduction

The court has the right to consider a parent taking their child without permission from the other parent as an abduction. Even if the child consents and is unharmed, this action still goes against any custodial agreement. Abduction can make a parent appear unfavorable, which can result in losing custody.

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse always reflects poorly on the parent’s ability to take care of the child and create a healthy environment to grow up in. Excessive substance abuse is oftentimes linked to domestic violence. Substance abuse can suggest one parent does not have the ideal disposition of being a caring role model.

Domestic Abuse

Violence directed towards a child can come in many forms, including physical, psychological, emotional, and sexual. Here are a few specific forms of abuse the court will look for:

  • Physical abuse includes excessive beating, hitting, kicking, and punching.
  • Emotional/psychological abuse includes verbal and other types of abuse.
  • Sexual abuse includes any form of sexual contact between parent and child.

Violation Of A Court Order

Violating a court order can involve all of the factors outlined above. Any nonconforming behavior displayed by either parent can demonstrate the inability to properly care for the child. The court can ultimately transfer custody to a more competent guardian or parent.

Speak With Our Divorce Lawyers in Arizona

Contact Canterbury Law Group today if you need an experienced child custody lawyer or guardianship lawyer in Phoenix or Scottsdale, Arizona to help with your case. Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to achieve the best outcome for your situation. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711

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Teenager Wants To Live With Non Custodial Parent: What Are Your Options?

Teenager Wants To Live With Non Custodial Parent

There are many factors to consider if your teenager is serious about wanting to change his or her permanent living arrangement. Below are some of your options when a teenager wishes to live with a non-custodial parent.

What Is Physical Custody?

Also known as “parenting time”, this is the type of custody that decides which parent the child lives with majority of the time. Courts usually grant physical custody to both parents on a joint and equal basis absent parental fitness issues.

Meanwhile, if the court has already appointed a physical custodian, then the other parent might get legal custody. It’s the right of a parent to make decisions about the child’s welfare, education, health, religion even when the child is not living with him or her.

When Is A Teenager Able To Choose Their Custodial Parent?

There is no specific age where a child’s opinion becomes essential. However, teenagers may be able to express themselves better because of their maturity and life experiences when compared to younger children.

For instance, the Arizona courts will allow a child’s custodial preferences when he or she has reached a “sufficient age to form an intelligent preference.” The courts in Arizona call for no specific age to allow the child’s preferences, as judges will make case-by-case judgements based on the situation presented.

Modifying Custody Arrangements

Parents can make their own living arrangements based on the wishes of their teenager(s). These arrangements, however, are not enforceable, recognized by the Arizona courts, and the child support will not be reversed/altered. If both parents agree that the new living arrangement is working well for everyone, they may want to consult with a family law attorney in an attempt to make the arrangement permanent.

One or both parents do have the right to file a petition in order to modify their current custody agreement. In most cases, having an experienced lawyer involved in the process makes it easier in the event of conflict between the two sides. The lawyer will be there to help resolve any issues as a new plan is implemented. The petition to modify with the proper supporting documentation can be submitted and approved by a judge. The judge may then issue the new order.

Speak With Our Divorce Lawyers in Arizona

Contact Canterbury Law Group today if you need an experienced child custody lawyer or guardianship lawyer in Phoenix or Scottsdale, Arizona to help with your case. Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to achieve the best outcome for your situation. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711

Who Has Child Custody When There's No Court Order?
Written by Canterbury Law Group

Who Has Child Custody When There’s No Court Order?

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A court issues a document known as a custody order. It specifies when each parent should have the child, who is in charge of making choices regarding the child, and other matters pertaining to childrearing.

Custodial rights usually go to whoever the state acknowledges as the child’s legal parent when there is no custody decree in place. Whether or not the parents were married at the time of the child’s conception or birth determines this.

Remember that the laws in your state could differ slightly.

Make a schedule that you can see. Obtain a formalized parenting plan. Determine how much time you spend parenting.

When a married couple has children together—whether conceived, born, or adopted—states immediately acknowledge them as the biological parents. In certain places, this includes offspring via in-vitro fertilization and artificial insemination, provided that both partners consented to it.

Even though having equal rights can be advantageous, there is reason for concern because either parent has the legal right to take their child out of the state or nation without consent. Obtaining a custody order would stop a parent from acting in this way (more on that later).

Should the parents not be wed

When two parents are not married, the mother is the only one with legal and physical custody of the children. Until the law determines differently, she is the child’s only legitimate parent.

The woman can sign an acknowledgment of parentage with another person or of paternity with any potential father if she wishes to designate another legal parent. Either the mother or the purported father may ask for DNA testing in situations where paternity is unclear.

To get legal parent status, a person who is not the child’s biological parent may file a parentage case. In order to be named a legal parent, they must demonstrate in court that they are the child’s primary caregiver and that doing so is in the child’s best interests.

Equal custody rights are granted to the second-named legal parent in certain states. In any case, you ought to obtain a custody decree to guarantee that both parents are permitted to participate in the child’s life.

LGBTQ parents

The majority of states still haven’t changed their legal language to accommodate LGBTQ couples. But, the aforementioned guidelines normally apply to parents who are married and single, respectively.

The best course of action is to get advice from a lawyer who focuses on LGBTQ parental rights or locate a helpful legal aid office.

How a custody order is obtained

The first step is to complete and submit a petition to your local family court for custody, divorce, or separation. (Custody is a given in circumstances of separation and divorce.) You can obtain one of these petitions from the courthouse or frequently find them online.

If you fear the other parent may take your child out of the state or nation or injure them in any other way, you can ask for an emergency injunction even before filing a case. If there is substantial evidence that the kid is in danger, the court will only issue this order.

Once a case is opened, it is up to you to resolve it or allow the judge make the final decision. When you and the other parent arrange a settlement, it’s called settling. You will create a parenting plan and present it to the court for approval in order to resolve custody disputes. If the conditions of your plan are in the best interests of the kid, a judge will approve it and it will become the final custody order.

You will have to go through the legal system in your state if there is no settlement. A judge will make the ultimate court order based on the arguments and proof that were shown throughout the trial. But it can take several months for this to occur.

You can agree on a temporary plan or request that the court make one in order to obtain a custody arrangement sooner. The interim ruling is enforceable until the judge signs the final ruling.

Maintaining Order

Being prepared is essential to putting together a compelling case if you need to obtain a court order for custody or parenthood.

In addition to tracking your time with your child, drafting numerous custody schedules, creating a parenting plan, calculating expenses, and other tasks may be necessary.

Sole physical custody, also known as sole residential custody or sole parenting time, refers to a child custody arrangement where the child primarily lives with and spends the majority of their time with one parent, known as the custodial parent or residential parent.

Here’s a breakdown of key aspects:

  1. Primary Residence: The child’s primary residence is with the parent who has sole physical custody. This parent is responsible for the day-to-day care of the child, including providing food, shelter, clothing, and supervision.
  2. Decision-Making Authority: The parent with sole physical custody usually has the authority to make major decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, such as those related to education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. However, in some cases, major decisions may still require input from the non-custodial parent or may be subject to court approval.
  3. Visitation or Parenting Time: The non-custodial parent typically has visitation rights or parenting time with the child according to a court-approved schedule. This schedule may include specified times for the child to spend with the non-custodial parent, such as weekends, holidays, vacations, and other agreed-upon times.
  4. Child Support: In many cases of sole physical custody, the non-custodial parent is required to pay child support to the custodial parent to help cover the costs associated with raising the child. Child support payments are often determined based on factors such as each parent’s income, the needs of the child, and the custody arrangement.

It’s crucial to understand that:

  • Sole physical custody is not the preferred arrangement in most situations. Courts generally favor joint physical custody, where both parents share significant physical time with the child, as it is generally considered beneficial for the child’s well-being to maintain a relationship with both parents.
  • Sole physical custody is typically awarded only in specific circumstances, such as when:
    • There are concerns about the child’s safety or well-being with the non-custodial parent due to factors like abuse, neglect, instability, or substance abuse.
    • One parent lives a significant distance away, making frequent physical co-parenting impractical.
    • Both parents agree to this arrangement and believe it is in the child’s best interests.

It’s important to note that sole physical custody does not necessarily mean that the non-custodial parent is completely excluded from the child’s life. In most cases, courts recognize the importance of maintaining a relationship between the child and both parents, even if one parent has primary physical custody. However, sole physical custody may be awarded if it is determined to be in the best interests of the child based on factors such as the child’s relationship with each parent, the parents’ ability to cooperate and communicate, and any history of domestic violence or substance abuse.

Speak With Our Guardianship Lawyers in Arizona

Contact Canterbury Law Group today if you need an experienced child custody lawyer or guardianship lawyer in Phoenix or Scottsdale, Arizona to help with your case. Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to achieve the best outcome for your situation. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Parallel Parenting: Making a Plan and Getting Started

Parallel Parenting: Making a Plan and Getting Started

Parallel parenting is a co-parenting approach designed for high-conflict situations where parents have difficulty communicating and cooperating with each other. It allows parents to disengage from each other and focus solely on the needs of their children. Here are steps to create a parallel parenting plan and get started:

  1. Understand Parallel Parenting: Educate yourself about parallel parenting and its principles. Recognize that it’s a temporary solution for high-conflict situations and focuses on minimizing direct contact between parents while ensuring the children’s well-being.
  2. Develop a Parenting Plan: Create a detailed parenting plan that outlines the custody schedule, decision-making responsibilities, communication protocols, and guidelines for resolving disputes. Specify how you will handle holidays, vacations, school events, medical appointments, and other important matters.
  3. Minimize Direct Contact: Establish methods for communication that minimize direct contact between parents. Consider using communication tools such as email, text messaging, or co-parenting apps that allow for asynchronous communication and provide a record of interactions.
  4. Set Boundaries: Define clear boundaries and expectations for communication and interaction. Agree on topics that are off-limits for discussion and commit to respecting each other’s privacy and personal space.
  5. Focus on the Children: Keep the children’s best interests at the forefront of your decision-making. Prioritize their emotional well-being and strive to create a stable and nurturing environment for them.
  6. Respect Court Orders: Adhere to any court orders or legal agreements related to custody, visitation, and parenting responsibilities. Follow the terms outlined in the parenting plan and seek legal advice if modifications are necessary.
  7. Seek Support: Reach out to professionals, such as therapists, mediators, or family counselors, who specialize in high-conflict co-parenting situations. Consider joining support groups or seeking guidance from trusted friends and family members.
  8. Practice Self-Care: Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. Engage in activities that reduce stress and promote relaxation. Practice effective coping strategies and seek professional help if needed.
  9. Evaluate and Adjust: Regularly assess the effectiveness of the parallel parenting arrangement and make adjustments as needed. Be open to revisiting and modifying the parenting plan to address changing circumstances or concerns.
  10. Stay Committed: Commit to making parallel parenting work for the well-being of your children, even when faced with challenges or setbacks. Stay focused on creating a positive co-parenting environment that allows your children to thrive despite the conflict between parents.

Need a Family Lawyer in Scottsdale?

Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.  Proven trial lawyers in family court, you can trust the firm to represent you fully so you can get on with your life. Call today for your initial consultation. Our family lawyers can help with divorce litigation, collaborative divorcedivorce mediationchild custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Split Custody Defined

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Split custody is a custody arrangement in which each parent is awarded primary physical custody of at least one child. In other words, the children are divided between the parents, with each parent having primary physical custody of one or more children.

For example, in a split custody arrangement, one parent may have primary physical custody of one child while the other parent has primary physical custody of another child or children. This differs from joint custody, where both parents share physical custody of all the children.

Split custody arrangements are less common than joint custody or sole custody arrangements and may be considered in cases where it’s deemed to be in the best interests of the children, such as situations where the children have strong bonds with each parent or have expressed a preference to live primarily with one parent.

It’s important to note that split custody arrangements can have significant implications for co-parenting, scheduling, and child support, and they may require careful consideration and planning to ensure the well-being of all the children involved. Additionally, split custody arrangements may not be suitable for all families and should be evaluated based on the unique circumstances of each case.

Speak With Our Guardianship Lawyers in Arizona

Contact Canterbury Law Group today if you need an experienced child custody lawyer or guardianship lawyer in Phoenix or Scottsdale, Arizona to help with your case. Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to achieve the best outcome for your situation. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711

Who Has Child Custody When There's No Court Order?
Written by Canterbury Law Group

How Long Do Custody Cases Take?

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The duration of custody cases can vary widely depending on various factors, including the complexity of the case, the jurisdiction in which the case is filed, the willingness of the parties to cooperate and reach an agreement, and the court’s docket and scheduling constraints. In general, custody cases can take anywhere from a few months to over a year to reach a resolution. Here are some factors that can influence the timeline:

  1. Type of Custody Dispute: The complexity of the custody dispute can significantly impact the duration of the case. Cases involving contentious issues such as allegations of abuse, substance abuse, or parental alienation may take longer to resolve than cases where the parties are able to cooperate and reach an agreement.
  2. Court Procedures: Each jurisdiction has its own court procedures and timelines for custody cases. Some courts may have expedited procedures for resolving custody disputes, while others may have lengthy waiting periods due to backlogs and scheduling constraints.
  3. Mediation or Alternative Dispute Resolution: Many courts require parties to participate in mediation or other alternative dispute resolution processes before proceeding to trial. The length of time it takes to schedule and complete mediation can affect the overall duration of the case.
  4. Evaluation or Investigation: In some cases, the court may order a custody evaluation or investigation by a mental health professional or social worker to assess the best interests of the child. The time it takes to complete the evaluation or investigation can vary depending on factors such as the availability of the evaluator, the complexity of the case, and the need for additional information.
  5. Court Hearings and Trial: If the parties are unable to reach an agreement on custody, the case may proceed to a trial where a judge will make a final decision. Court hearings and trial dates may be scheduled based on the court’s docket and availability of parties, attorneys, and witnesses, which can contribute to delays in the resolution of the case.
  6. Cooperation of Parties: The willingness of the parties to cooperate and negotiate in good faith can have a significant impact on the duration of the case. Parties who are able to communicate effectively, collaborate on parenting plans, and work towards a resolution outside of court may be able to expedite the process.

Overall, it’s essential to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can provide guidance on the specific procedures and timelines for custody cases in your jurisdiction. Additionally, understanding the factors that can influence the duration of the case can help parties manage their expectations and make informed decisions throughout the process.

Speak With Our Guardianship Lawyers in Arizona

Contact Canterbury Law Group today if you need an experienced child custody lawyer or guardianship lawyer in Phoenix or Scottsdale, Arizona to help with your case. Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to achieve the best outcome for your situation. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711

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How Far Can A Parent Move With Joint Custody?

How Far Can A Parent Move With Joint Custody

Typically, there is no set limit for how far one parent can move with joint custody, but doing so will require permission from the court or the other parent.

Joint Custody Defined

When parents divorce or separate, they come across new legal jargon like “joint custody.” But what does that actually mean in a legal and practical sense? In contrast to solo custody, where one parent has sole legal custody of their kid, joint custody involves both parents sharing these rights.

Depending on which parent has the child’s legal custody, either joint custody or solo custody may apply. Parents who share custody have equal say over important life choices for their children. Parents do not share these rights in single custody cases.

Joint Custody Arrangements

It is crucial to mention legal custody in any conversation about child custody agreements. When a parent has legal custody, they are able to make important choices that will affect their child’s future. Major choices are frequently made in relation to extracurricular activities, health care, extracurricular schools, and religious instruction. However, other facets of your child’s life might also be considered to be such. When trying to ascertain the areas of your child’s life over which you possess decision-making authority in a joint custody arrangement, it is crucial to verify with your attorney regarding what technically qualifies as “major.”

Parents who share custody have an equal say in such important choices. You risk being found in contempt of court if you try to stop the other parent from taking part in this decision-making. Any custody agreement is joint only if there is an equal division of the legal authority to make such significant choices.

Every state has its own laws on the matter, and joint custody can take many different forms.

How Far Can Parents Move With Joint Custody?

If a parent’s decision to move affects the existing parenting agreement laid out during the previous court order, the order must be modified to account for the new living arrangement(s). There is no set limit for how far one parent is allowed to move, as previously mentioned.

However, if the move results in less parenting time for the other parent in violation of the court order, then the moving parent must get permission from the other parent or the court before starting the moving process. Parents with joint custody arrangements will face a much tougher time moving as opposed to parents with sole custody arrangements.

Can A Custodial Parent Move With A Child Out Of State?

No, a custodial parent is not allowed to move a child out of state without a court order or the other parent’s consent. Any plan to move out of state will create a “removal” issue and the courts needs to find that the move creates a real advantage to the moving parent and is in the child’s best interest.

Canterbury Can Help With Custody Cases In Arizona

Our child custody and guardianship attorneys in Phoenix and Scottsdale will advance your case with concern and personal attention and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions.

We are experienced family law attorneys and will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. We shall represent you fully, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation!

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. You can contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your unique situation.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Defining Joint Legal Custody

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Joint legal custody refers to a custody arrangement in which both parents share the legal rights and responsibilities regarding major decisions affecting their child’s life, even though the child may primarily reside with one parent. Here’s what joint legal custody typically entails:

  1. Decision-Making Authority: Parents with joint legal custody have an equal say in important decisions regarding their child’s upbringing, including matters related to education, healthcare, religious upbringing, and extracurricular activities. Both parents have the right to participate in making these decisions and must consult with each other before reaching a consensus.
  2. Communication and Cooperation: Effective communication and cooperation between parents are essential for successful joint legal custody. Parents must be willing to discuss and collaborate on important decisions, consider each other’s perspectives, and prioritize the best interests of their child.
  3. Parenting Plan or Agreement: Joint legal custody is typically established through a parenting plan or agreement, either voluntarily by the parents or by court order. This plan outlines the terms and conditions of joint legal custody, including how major decisions will be made, how disputes will be resolved, and the communication methods between parents.
  4. Residential Arrangement: In most cases of joint legal custody, the child resides primarily with one parent (the custodial parent) while spending scheduled time with the other parent (the non-custodial parent). However, both parents retain equal decision-making authority, regardless of the child’s primary residence.
  5. Equal Rights and Responsibilities: Parents with joint legal custody have equal rights and responsibilities concerning their child’s welfare and upbringing. This includes the right to access information about the child’s education, healthcare, and other important aspects of their life, as well as the responsibility to contribute to the child’s financial support and overall well-being.
  6. Dispute Resolution: In situations where parents cannot agree on a major decision, the parenting plan or court order may specify a dispute resolution process, such as mediation or arbitration, to help parents reach a resolution. If necessary, the court may intervene to make a decision in the child’s best interests.

Joint legal custody allows both parents to remain actively involved in their child’s life and ensures that major decisions are made collaboratively, taking into account the child’s best interests. While joint legal custody requires parents to work together effectively, it can provide stability and continuity for the child by maintaining meaningful relationships with both parents.

What Are The Basics of Joint Legal Custody?

Joint legal custody is a custody arrangement in which both parents share the legal rights and responsibilities regarding major decisions affecting their child’s life, even if the child primarily resides with one parent. Here are the basics of joint legal custody:

  1. Shared Decision-Making: Parents with joint legal custody have an equal say in important decisions concerning their child’s upbringing, including matters related to education, healthcare, religious upbringing, and extracurricular activities. Both parents must collaborate and consult with each other before making significant decisions.
  2. Legal Rights and Responsibilities: Joint legal custody grants both parents equal legal rights and responsibilities regarding their child. This includes the right to access information about the child’s education, healthcare, and other important aspects of their life, as well as the responsibility to participate in decision-making and contribute to the child’s financial support and overall well-being.
  3. Communication and Cooperation: Effective communication and cooperation between parents are essential for successful joint legal custody. Parents must be willing to discuss important decisions, exchange information about the child’s well-being, and work together to resolve disagreements or conflicts in the child’s best interests.
  4. Parenting Plan or Agreement: Joint legal custody is typically established through a parenting plan or agreement, either voluntarily by the parents or by court order. This plan outlines the terms and conditions of joint legal custody, including how major decisions will be made, how disputes will be resolved, and the communication methods between parents.
  5. Residential Arrangement: In most cases of joint legal custody, the child resides primarily with one parent (the custodial parent) while spending scheduled time with the other parent (the non-custodial parent). However, both parents retain equal decision-making authority, regardless of the child’s primary residence.
  6. Best Interests of the Child: The overarching principle in joint legal custody is the best interests of the child. All decisions made by parents should prioritize the child’s well-being, safety, and emotional development. Parents should consider factors such as the child’s age, maturity, preferences, and special needs when making decisions.
  7. Flexibility and Adaptability: Joint legal custody requires parents to be flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances. It’s essential for parents to maintain open lines of communication, be willing to compromise, and seek the child’s best interests, even in challenging situations.

Overall, joint legal custody allows both parents to remain actively involved in their child’s life and ensures that major decisions are made collaboratively, promoting stability, continuity, and the child’s overall well-being.

How is Joint Legal Custody Shared?

oint legal custody is shared between both parents in a collaborative manner. Here’s how it typically works:

  1. Equal Decision-Making Authority: With joint legal custody, both parents have equal decision-making authority regarding important aspects of their child’s life, such as education, healthcare, religious upbringing, and extracurricular activities. This means that both parents have the right to participate in making major decisions that affect the child’s well-being.
  2. Collaboration and Communication: Parents are expected to communicate openly and collaborate effectively when making decisions about their child. This may involve discussing various options, sharing information, considering each other’s perspectives, and reaching a consensus on important matters. Effective communication is essential for successful joint legal custody.
  3. Consultation Requirement: Before making significant decisions regarding the child, both parents are typically required to consult with each other and attempt to reach an agreement. This ensures that both parents have the opportunity to provide input and participate in the decision-making process. If parents cannot agree, they may need to seek mediation or court intervention to resolve disputes.
  4. Parenting Plan or Agreement: Joint legal custody is often established through a parenting plan or agreement, which outlines the terms and conditions of custody, including how major decisions will be made. The parenting plan may specify communication methods between parents, procedures for resolving disputes, and mechanisms for sharing information about the child’s well-being.
  5. Flexibility and Cooperation: Successful joint legal custody requires parents to be flexible, cooperative, and willing to work together in the best interests of their child. This may involve compromising on certain issues, respecting each other’s opinions, and prioritizing the child’s needs above personal differences.
  6. Respect for Court Orders: If joint legal custody is established through a court order, both parents are legally bound to comply with the terms of the order and fulfill their responsibilities as outlined. This includes following the parenting plan, attending mediation or counseling sessions if required, and adhering to any court-imposed conditions.

Overall, joint legal custody requires parents to share decision-making responsibilities and work together to promote the well-being of their child. By fostering collaboration, communication, and respect, parents can ensure that their child’s needs are met and that major decisions are made in their best interests.

Pro’s and Con’s of Joint Legal Custody

oint legal custody, like any custody arrangement, comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons:

Pros:

  1. Shared Decision-Making: Both parents have equal input and decision-making authority regarding important aspects of their child’s life, such as education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. This allows the child to benefit from the perspectives and input of both parents.
  2. Continuity and Stability: Joint legal custody allows the child to maintain a strong relationship with both parents, even if they live primarily with one parent. This continuity of care and involvement from both parents can provide stability and emotional support for the child.
  3. Promotes Cooperation: Joint legal custody encourages parents to communicate and collaborate effectively for the well-being of their child. By working together to make decisions, parents can model cooperation and problem-solving skills for their child.
  4. Flexibility: Joint legal custody arrangements can often be flexible and adaptable to the changing needs of the child and the family. Parents can adjust schedules and decision-making processes as necessary to accommodate evolving circumstances.
  5. Shared Financial Responsibility: Both parents share financial responsibility for their child’s upbringing, including expenses related to education, healthcare, and extracurricular activities. Joint legal custody can help ensure that both parents contribute to the child’s financial needs.

Cons:

  1. Communication Challenges: Effective communication between parents is essential for successful joint legal custody. However, communication breakdowns or conflicts between parents can make decision-making difficult and lead to disagreements or disputes.
  2. Potential for Conflict: Differences in parenting styles, values, or priorities can sometimes lead to conflicts or disagreements regarding important decisions for the child. Resolving these conflicts may require mediation, counseling, or court intervention.
  3. Logistical Challenges: Coordinating schedules, sharing information, and making joint decisions can be logistically challenging, especially if parents live far apart or have busy schedules. This can create practical difficulties in implementing joint legal custody arrangements.
  4. Unequal Involvement: In some cases, one parent may be more actively involved in decision-making or may exert more influence over important decisions. This can lead to feelings of frustration or resentment if one parent feels marginalized or excluded from the process.
  5. Potential for Legal Battles: Disputes over major decisions or disagreements between parents can escalate into legal battles, leading to increased stress, time, and expense for both parents. This can create a contentious or adversarial environment that is not in the child’s best interests.

Overall, joint legal custody can be beneficial for many families, but it requires effective communication, cooperation, and flexibility from both parents to be successful. By focusing on the needs of the child and maintaining a child-centered approach, parents can navigate the challenges of joint legal custody and work together to promote the well-being of their child.

Speak With Our Guardianship Lawyers in Arizona

Contact Canterbury Law Group today if you need an experienced child custody lawyer or guardianship lawyer in Phoenix or Scottsdale, Arizona to help with your case. Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to achieve the best outcome for your situation. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711

Who Has Child Custody When There's No Court Order?
Written by Canterbury Law Group

What Is Sole Physical Custody?

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Sole physical custody, also known as sole residential custody or sole parenting time, refers to a child custody arrangement where the child primarily lives with and spends the majority of their time with one parent, known as the custodial parent or residential parent.

Sole physical custody, also known as sole residential custody or sole parenting time, refers to a child custody arrangement where the child primarily lives with and spends the majority of their time with one parent, known as the custodial parent or residential parent.

Here’s a breakdown of key aspects:

  1. Primary Residence: The child’s primary residence is with the parent who has sole physical custody. This parent is responsible for the day-to-day care of the child, including providing food, shelter, clothing, and supervision.
  2. Decision-Making Authority: The parent with sole physical custody usually has the authority to make major decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, such as those related to education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. However, in some cases, major decisions may still require input from the non-custodial parent or may be subject to court approval.
  3. Visitation or Parenting Time: The non-custodial parent typically has visitation rights or parenting time with the child according to a court-approved schedule. This schedule may include specified times for the child to spend with the non-custodial parent, such as weekends, holidays, vacations, and other agreed-upon times.
  4. Child Support: In many cases of sole physical custody, the non-custodial parent is required to pay child support to the custodial parent to help cover the costs associated with raising the child. Child support payments are often determined based on factors such as each parent’s income, the needs of the child, and the custody arrangement.

It’s crucial to understand that:

  • Sole physical custody is not the preferred arrangement in most situations. Courts generally favor joint physical custody, where both parents share significant physical time with the child, as it is generally considered beneficial for the child’s well-being to maintain a relationship with both parents.
  • Sole physical custody is typically awarded only in specific circumstances, such as when:
    • There are concerns about the child’s safety or well-being with the non-custodial parent due to factors like abuse, neglect, instability, or substance abuse.
    • One parent lives a significant distance away, making frequent physical co-parenting impractical.
    • Both parents agree to this arrangement and believe it is in the child’s best interests.

It’s important to note that sole physical custody does not necessarily mean that the non-custodial parent is completely excluded from the child’s life. In most cases, courts recognize the importance of maintaining a relationship between the child and both parents, even if one parent has primary physical custody. However, sole physical custody may be awarded if it is determined to be in the best interests of the child based on factors such as the child’s relationship with each parent, the parents’ ability to cooperate and communicate, and any history of domestic violence or substance abuse.

Speak With Our Guardianship Lawyers in Arizona

Contact Canterbury Law Group today if you need an experienced child custody lawyer or guardianship lawyer in Phoenix or Scottsdale, Arizona to help with your case. Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to achieve the best outcome for your situation. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Does Guardianship Override Parental Rights?

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When a child has a legal guardian, the guardian’s role differs from the parent’s role. The parent should understand how the guardian serves the child’s needs. Teachers, doctors, extended family and babysitters may also need to know what the guardian can do. Have questions about obtaining legal guardianship in Phoenix or Scottsdale Arizona? Contact Canterbury Law Group’s Guardianship Lawyers today.

Guardianship versus parental rights

Guardians and parents have their own roles. The fact that the child has a guardian does not mean the parent has no rights.

Parental rights usually include the option to spend time with the child, as well as the authority to make major decisions and sign contracts for the child. Having a guardian does not generally change this.

After a guardian is appointed, the parent may continue to have custody. Even when the parent does not have custody, they may have a court order that allows them to visit their child.

In some circumstances, a court may suspend or terminate a parent’s rights. However, that is separate from appointing a guardian.

Legal guardian versus biological parent: Who has custody?

Guardianship and custody are distinct concepts. Usually, a parent continues to have custody even after a legal guardian is appointed. This is true whether the parent is biological or adoptive. The guardian may provide care for the child despite not having custody.

It is possible that a judge will later award custody to the guardian. This would be a new request and a separate legal process. Probate courts determine guardianship. Family courts determine custody.

Guardianship and parental visitation

Parents may have the right to visit their child while the child is living with the guardian. The details of a guardianship will depend on family circumstances.

Does the parent choose the guardian?

When a parent needs someone else to provide care for their child, they may consider a guardian. Appointing a guardian can be a responsible choice.

One way to tell the court in advance whom you want as guardian is to put this information in your parenting plan. This way your wishes are in a legal document signed by both parents, and the court can reference it if you die or become incapacitated.

If you are still alive and want to appoint a guardian, you can instead go to your court for the appropriate forms.

When a parent chooses to appoint a guardian, they can ask the court at any time to revoke the guardianship. They can also appoint a new guardian.

If the child’s well-being is at risk, the court may appoint a guardian against the parents’ wishes. The court order establishes the details.

A guardianship is temporary

Parenthood, whether biological or adoptive, is a permanent status. By contrast, guardianship is temporary. This is another way in which guardianship of a minor child is different from parenthood.

A court order begins and ends the guardianship. The order may set the guardianship to expire on a certain date. Otherwise, the order is valid until a judge updates it.

If a guardian cannot or will not continue to serve in their role, they must go to court to request a change. Sometimes the parent, too, has the right to bring an end to the guardianship. If the court approves, the guardianship can end.

Can the legal guardian parent the child, too?

Legally, a guardian is not a parent. As such, the guardian’s rights and responsibilities are not called parental rights. A guardian is a designated nonparent who protects the child’s interests.

The parent may keep their right to make long-term, major decisions. A court order specifies the unique details of each guardianship.

Despite not being a parent, the guardian often plays roles that are typical of parents. For example, a guardian may provide housing, oversee homework and take the child to the doctor. When considering the child’s daily care, the guardian may have the right to override the parents’ wishes.

Does the guardian pay for the child’s care?

Sometimes, a parent pays child support to the guardian. A child may also have their own income through government support or an inheritance. The guardian may be allowed to use this money for the child’s needs if they keep track of the spending.

In other situations, the guardian alone pays for the child’s needs. Just because a guardian spends money on the child does not mean they have more rights than the parent.

Does guardianship lead to adoption?

On its own, guardianship does not lead to adoption. In some circumstances, however, a guardian may apply to adopt the child. This is a separate process. Guardianship is not the same as adoption.

As part of the adoption process, a judge examines the biological parents’ statuses. Their parental rights (if any) are terminated when someone else adopts their child.

When the adoption is finalized, the guardian becomes the parent. This is a permanent status. Anyone who becomes an adoptive parent gains parental rights.

Speak With Our Guardianship Lawyers in Arizona

Contact Canterbury Law Group today if you need an experienced child custody lawyer or guardianship lawyer in Phoenix or Scottsdale, Arizona to help with your case. Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to achieve the best outcome for your situation. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711

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