Under Arizona law, custody refers to legal decision-making authority and physical custody of a child, while visitation refers to the non-custodial parent’s time with a child. The following provides a detailed explanation of the difference:
- Legal Decision-Making Authority. Legal decision-making authority refers to the right to make major decisions about a child’s health, education, and general welfare. If one parent has sole legal decision-making authority, that parent has the right to make these decisions without input from the other parent. If both parents share legal decision-making authority, they must work together to make these decisions. There is also a third option whereby the parties will share joint legal decision-making authority but one of the parties will have final decision-making status in the event of an impasse.
- Physical Custody. Physical custody, which in Arizona is called “Parenting Time” refers to how much time with the child each parent receives. If both parents share physical custody, a child will spend roughly equal time with each party.
- Parenting Time. Parenting time, also referred to as visitation in other states, refers to the time the non-custodial parent spends with a child. It also applies to third-parties and grandparents who have court-ordered time with the child. Visitation schedules can vary depending on the needs of the child and the parents’ and other parties’ schedules. In some cases, it may be possible for the parents to develop a parenting plan; however, in highly contentious matters, the court will order a specific schedule.
It is critical for parents to understand the difference between these terms, as they will impact the rights and responsibilities of each party. As an experienced family law attorney withalmost three decades of legal experience, I can listen to the facts of your case, explain your legal options, and zealously advocate for the best outcome possible.
Where Is Phoenix Family Law Firm Thomas Law Office Located?
Whether you are a mother or father, a husband or wife, young or old, call our office for assistance with your family law case. Our main office is conveniently located in the North Phoenix area. We also have offices in the West Valley and East Valley in order to be easily accessible to clients in all Maricopa County areas. We also offer telephonic and video consultations, which many clients have come to prefer, as this is much more convenient than traveling to and from a physical office.
The following are areas where Thomas Law Office clients have resided: Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Anthem, Surprise, Sun City, Tempe, Fountain Hills, Peoria, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Tolleson, Avondale, Litchfield Park, Maryvale. In addition, we have represented numerous clients with family law cases in the Maricopa County Superior Court who resided in all parts of the state, various other states around the country, and even other parts of the world.
Schedule A Consultation With An Experienced Phoenix Family Law Attorney Serving Maricopa County and the Surrounding Communities
In addition to being experienced, dedicated, and effective, Thomas Law Office also offers clients affordable representation. For clients who cannot afford traditional representation, I offer limited scope representation, document preparation services, a la carte consultations for those with targeted questions and who would rather not formally retain an attorney, payment plans, flat fees, and other creative payment arrangements. We also can refer you to a legal fee financing option if your are facing a heavy court battle and will need to spread your payments out over a long period of time. Call Thomas Law Office today for assistance with your Arizona family law matter.