What is Joint Legal Custody or Joint Decision Making in Arizona?
Parents sharing joint legal custody (now referred to as joint legal decision making) must reach agreements regarding major life decisions affecting their children. Each parent’s rights and responsibilities in communicating about and reaching agreements regarding these decisions are outlined in a court ordered Parenting Plan.
Disagreements between the parents regarding these custody decisions are often resolved through mediation or use of a third person, referred to as a Parenting Coordinator, who will investigate the dispute and issue a recommendation to the court to resolve the disagreement between the parents.
When parents disagree regarding which school their children will attend, the parties may need to present that issue to the court for the judge to make the decision. The Arizona Court of Appeals in the case of Jordan v. The Honorable John Rea set forth the factors the trial court should consider when determining which school the children will attend.
However, the Arizona Court of Appeals in the Baker v. Meyer case set forth, even more, factors the trial court must consider when ruling on a choice of school if the change in school will affect a parent’s parenting time with the children. This situation can occur when the proposed new school is located so far away from a parent that he or she may not be able to exercise all of his or her court-ordered parenting time.
If the parties disagree with the recommendations made by the Parenting Coordinator, such as a disagreement regarding which school a child will attend, they are entitled to a hearing and an Arizona judge will have the authority to make the choice of school decision based upon what is in the best interests of the child pursuant to the decision in the DePasquale v. Superior Court case.
Common Questions About Joint Legal Custody in Arizona
What is Joint Legal Decision Making in Arizona?
Joint legal decision making allows both parents to have an equal voice in major decisions made for a child. These decisions include what school the child attends, the doctors the child sees, and the medical decisions made for the child
What is Joint Custody in Arizona?
Joint custody is the same as joint legal decision making in Arizona. Some people also refer to an equal time-sharing arrangement as joint custody.
How is Child Custody Determined in Arizona?
Child custody is determined by a judge determining what child custody arrangement is in a child’s best interests. The court will consider all the statutory factors of Arizona Revised Statute Section 25-403.
Can Both Parents be the Custodial Parent in Arizona?
No, both parents cannot be a custodial parent in Arizona. Only one parent can be designated as the custodial parent in Arizona. Designating one parent as the primary residential parent allows that parent the ability to obtain welfare benefits for the child.
Contact the Attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC Today.
Contact us today or call us at (480)305-8300 to schedule your consultation with one of our Scottsdale Arizona Child Custody Attorneys regarding child custody issues, the divorce process or any other Arizona family law matter.
Chris Hildebrand wrote this article about joint legal custody and joint decision making to ensure everyone has access to information about child custody laws in Arizona. Chris is a family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a child custody case should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and actually caring about what his clients are going through.