Every child deserves to have a meaningful, frequent and continuing relationship with his or her parent. For this reason, Arizona law affords parents a reasonable right to access to his or her children – commonly referred to as “parenting time.” While the goal is for parents to have the opportunity to spend time with their child/ren, courts may limit or even deny parenting time if the child/ren’s physical, mental, moral or emotional well-being will be endangered.

Arizona Parenting Time

Determining the appropriate amount of time parenting depends on several factors, including the child/ren’s age and stage of development. Some Arizona counties have established guidelines that serve to help parents and judges alike when deciding how much parenting time is fitting for the child/ren. Some of these counties include Maricopa, Coconino, Pima, Mohave, Yavapai and Pinal. Moreover, the Arizona Supreme Court has issued model parenting time plans to assist parents that may apply to some family situations.

When putting together a parenting plan, it is important for Arizona parents to decide with specificity – when and for how long parenting time will be including division of special occasions such as holidays, school breaks, vacations, and birthdays. If created by the parents, this plan should be specific enough to allow a court to enforce its terms if it is not followed and one parent requests enforcement.  

Determining Parenting Time

An Arizona court may grant a parenting time order only in certain kinds of situations – as it does with child custody. After a final divorce decree is issued, a court still has the authority to modify or change an earlier parenting plan. Either parent has the right to request, in writing, a modification of parenting time, which should be filed with the clerk of the Superior Court.

Should the parents have a disagreement about parenting time, the court may refer the matter to mediation prior to rendering a decision. This allows the parties an opportunity to come to a mutual agreement without court intervention. Should mediation be unsuccessful, the court will make a decision based on several factors to include: the distance between the parents’ homes, the child/ren’s school schedule, the age and health of the child/ren, the sustainability of living conditions in each parent’s home, as well as the time each parent has available for the child/ren outside of work or other obligations.

Legal Help in Glendale

Legal issues involving family law can be both sensitive and complicated. Even if parents share joint legal custody, the child/ren may spend more time living with one parent then the other and this is where parenting time comes into play. Competent family law lawyers understand that sorting through these issues can be a painful process. For this reason, it is important to contact a seasoned Glendale child custody and parenting time lawyer if you or someone you know is having difficulties coming to an agreement with a spouse. Contact us by calling (480) 345-2652 today.