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Understanding Divorce and Custody Terms in Arizona

A component of any Arizona divorce when children are involved is a court enforceable parenting plan. When parents cannot mutually agree on a child plan, the court will often establish a plan that the parents must follow for the children’s health and welfare. In some situations, unmarried parents, relatives or other court approved persons can obtain custody or parenting time. Regardless of the facts presented, Arizona law requires that the best interest of the child be the lead consideration above any other.

The family law attorneys at Canterbury Law provide legal strategies throughout the Phoenix area to protect what matters most in divorce – the long-term welfare of the children. Here are common custody terms that one can expect to hear when children are involved in divorce.

Sole Custody – This term is used when one person has sole legal custody of a child. In this situation, the court orders that one parent be responsible for making the major decisions regarding the child’s care or welfare. Although both parents may discuss these matters, the parent designated by the court has authority to make final decisions in the event the parents do not agree.

Joint Custody – Often referred to as joint legal custody or joint physical custody, this type of custody requires that both parents submit a parenting plan to the judge. Canterbury Law in Phoenix can guide you on all the steps in your divorce and custody needs.

Legal Custody – Legal custody is the status where one or both parents are responsible for making the major decisions regarding the child’s care or welfare. When legal custody is awarded to one parent, it is called “sole legal custody.”

What is “Joint Legal Custody”? – When the court grants joint legal custody, each of the parents has the same rights to make decisions about the child’s care and welfare and neither parent’s rights are superior to those of the other parent.

Joint Physical Custody – When the court grants joint physical custody, the place where the child lives (the child’s physical residence) is shared between the parents in a way that the child will have essentially equal time and contact with both parents. Joint physical custody may be granted in situations where parents share joint legal custody or when one parent is granted sole custody.

Let our dedicated family law team help with protecting the security of your children. Contact us today for a consultation.

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