In most states, parents are assigned “custody” and visitation rights. “Custody” refers to both physical custody or legal custody, and one parent is typically deemed the “custodial” parent while the other has “visitation.” Arizona has removed the terms custody and visitation. In Arizona, neither parent has visitation. Any time with either parent is deemed parenting time. The only people who can have true visitation are grandparents and third parties who have taken care of the child under certain circumstances. Legal custody is now “Legal Decision Making.”
While the definitions are not crucial, getting to see your child is. Obtaining and enforcing your parenting time is your fundamental right as a parent and almost always in the best interest of your children.
Regardless of the exact nature of your relationship to your child, a Mesa visitation lawyer from our firm could help you obtain the legal right and protections to spend time with your kiddos. Get in touch with a child custody attorney to learn more about your legal rights as a parent.
How is Visitation Determined and Regulated in Mesa?
Parenting time and visitation is all subject to the best interests of the child, which is outlined in Arizona Revised Statutes §25-403. According to the statute, there are 13 factors that determine what is in the best interest of a child in any given custody case.
When a child is of suitable age and maturity, their wishes may be considered when a judge determines their best interests. Different judges have different interpretations of what that is.
Every family law case that has to do with custody will have a parenting time order. One of our skilled Mesa attorneys could help you understand the 13 factors that influence visitation rights and determine what evidence you have that could fit under each factor. For instance, the child’s school records, photos of them with their parents showing their relationships, and journals can all be used to establish the wishes of a child. Many parents struggle with how to frame their child custody case in terms of the best interest factors. We can help.
Rights and Responsibilities of a Parent with Visitation
A person granted visitation rights (like a grandparent or third party) has a right to that time as well as the responsibilities that come along with it. For instance, the responsibility to feed, clothe, fulfill basic needs, get a kid to school, and take them to any extracurricular activities are all associated with visitation rights.
Additionally, visitation and parenting time is modifiable. You may ask the court for a modification of parenting time one year after the last order was entered, or after six months if the court order is not being followed.
Limitations on Visitation Rights
If one parent has sole legal decision-making rights, it does not mean that the other party can’t still have equal rights to parenting time. However, a parent who is considered dangerous for the child may not be given any parenting time. If there are significant mental health issues, a history of substance abuse, a history of domestic violence, or criminal records that suggest a parent would be dangerous to their children, they might not be awarded any sort of parenting time or custody rights.
Reach out to a Mesa Visitation Attorney Today
If your parenting rights are at stake, or you are a grandparent or third-party needing visitation, you should contact an attorney right away. There’s nothing more important than your role in a child’s life, and figuring out how to structure your argument is in your best interests. Get in touch with a Mesa visitation lawyer from our firm today for assistance with protecting your parental rights.