Parenting Time and Relocation
Parenting Time in Arizona
Parenting time is another term for visitation. It is important for a child to continue to have a meaningful relationship with both parents and Arizona courts will order parenting time to ensure that a child has continuing contact with both parents. However, parenting time may be limited or even denied if a court finds that a child is at risk of suffering from any kind of physical, mental or emotional harm resulting from contact with a parent.
Parenting time can vary according to a child’s age and needs. It also varies based upon the proximity of each parent’s home. Parenting time can range from having the child in a parent’s care for a day or two each week to caring for the child on an equal time basis.
The gender of the parent has no bearing on the parenting time that will be ordered by the Court and Fathers have the same parenting time rights as Mothers. While there is no formal ‘presumption’ of equal parenting time, Arizona law and policy is to ensure “substantial, frequent, meaningful and continuing parenting time with both parents.”
Arizona Revised Statute 25-103 states:
A. It is declared that the public policy of this state and the general purposes of this title are:
1. To promote strong families;
2. To promote strong family values.
B. It also is the declared public policy of this state and the general purpose of this title that absent evidence to the contrary, it is in a child’s best interest:
1. To have substantial, frequent, meaningful and continuing parenting time with both parents.
2. To have both parents participate in decision-making about the child.
Parenting Time Plans
There are many different types of parenting time plans that parents can exercise. Parents can reach an agreement on a specific plan or the Court can order a parenting time schedule if the parties cannot reach an agreement. It is important to craft an agreement that meets the needs and schedules of both parents as well as their children.
Some of the more common equal parenting time plans are the 5-2-2-5 schedule and the week-on/week-off schedule. For the 5-2-2-5 schedule, one parent has Mondays and Tuesdays overnights and the other parent has Wednesdays and Thursdays overnights. The parents would then alternate the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday overnights each week.
Many times, a parent will need to relocate out of Arizona for work opportunities or other reasons. The decision to remove a child from the state will affect the other parent’s parental rights. As such, relocating with children presents a challenging problem and the moving parent must establish that the move is in the best interests of the child.
When a parent decides to move away, the remaining parent is entitled to written 60-day notice before the child may be relocated. If the parent remaining in Arizona objects to the child moving away, they will need to take Court action to prevent the relocation. The laws governing relocation are found in Arizona Revised Statutes § 25-408.
The time spent with your children is commonly the most important issue in any divorce or custody case. Contact the Law Office of Austin White to receive representation from an experienced and agressive parenting time attorney to ensure you receive meaningful time with your children. Click here to fill out our online form or call 480-788-0633 to speak directly with a family law lawyer.