What Visitation or Parenting Time Schedules do Judges Order in Arizona?
Parenting time refers to the scheduling of access between the parents and their child(ren). The parenting time schedule is not affected in any way by the designation of legal decision making as either sole legal decision making or joint legal decision making.
Simply stated, the form of legal decision making, typically, has no bearing upon the amount of time either parent spends with their child(ren); unless there are concerns about a parent’s fitness or ability to properly care for his or her children.
Parenting time schedules can vary significantly from one family to another. For very young children, the parenting time could be several times a week for several hours at a time. For older children, the parenting time schedule can be as limited as the children living primarily with one parent with the other “non-custodial” parent seeing the children every other weekend and one midweek evening visit.
Alternatively, the parenting time schedule could be an equal parenting time arrangement. Lastly, the schedule could be anywhere between those two types of schedules depending upon what the court believes is in your children’s best interests.
One of the nations foremost experts, Dr. Phil Stahl, who conducts child custody evaluations across the country spoke at an American Bar Association conference in 2015 about equal parenting time arrangements.
It may be helpful to read Chris Hildebrand’s article about Dr. Stahl’s speech entitled “Is a Presumption of Equal Parenting Time in Arizona Good for Children”. You should understand that Arizona law does not create a presumption of equal parenting time in Arizona; despite an unsuccessful attempt to get such legislation passed by the Arizona legislature.
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