Most people think of Child Custody in terms of Sole or Joint Custody, Child Support Payments and Visitation. However, parenting is much more than these limited ideas and Arizona law has undergone some major changes to reflect what it really means to be a parent.
Custody = Legal decision-making
The legal focus is on a parents legal right and responsibility to make legal decisions for a child including, education, health care, religious training and personal care decisions
Visitation = Parenting time
This is the schedule of time during which each parent has access to a child and during their scheduled time the parent is responsible for providing the child with food, clothing and shelter.
There are 3 Basic Custody Actions When Parents Don’t Live Together:
1. Establishing legal decision-making and parenting time. This can be done as part of a divorce or if the parents were never married it is a new petition.
2. Modifying a previous court order that established legal decision-making and parenting time.
***Both of these involve actions creating a parenting plan and ascertaining child support.
3. A petition for custody by a person who has been treated as a parent by a child and who has formed a meaningful parental relationship with a child for a substantial period of time.
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