Title: Understanding Sole Legal Decision Making in Arizona
As a parent going through a divorce or separation, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is determining legal decision-making for your children. In Arizona, the term “custody” isn’t used; instead, the court looks at legal decision-making and parenting time. So, what grounds are necessary for sole legal decision-making to be granted in Arizona? Let’s dive into the details.
Understanding Legal Decision-Making vs. Parenting Time
Firstly, it’s important to understand the distinction between legal decision-making and parenting time. Parenting time refers to the amount of time a child spends with each parent. On the other hand, legal decision-making refers to the authority to make important decisions about a child’s life, including healthcare, education, and religion.
Sole Legal Decision-Making
When it comes to sole legal decision-making, this means that one parent has the exclusive right to make major decisions for the child. However, it’s important to note that sole legal decision-making doesn’t necessarily mean that the parent with this right also has sole physical custody or parenting time. The other parent may still have substantial parenting time, despite not having legal decision-making.
Grounds for Sole Legal Decision-Making in Arizona
So, what grounds are necessary for a parent to be granted sole legal decision-making in Arizona? There are several reasons that may lead a court to grant one parent sole legal decision-making authority. These reasons include addiction, violence, or an inability to make decisions together.
If one parent has a history of substance abuse or addiction, the court may award sole legal decision-making to the other parent. This is because the parent with the addiction may not be in a position to make sound decisions for the child.
Similarly, if one parent has a history of domestic violence or abuse, the court may award sole legal decision-making to the other parent. This is because the safety and well-being of the child is the most important consideration in any custody or legal decision-making decision.
Inability to Make Decisions Together
Finally, if the parents are unable to make important decisions together, the court may award sole legal decision-making to one parent. This may occur if the parents have fundamental disagreements about how to raise the child or if they are unable to communicate effectively about important decisions.
When you’re in Arizona
In Arizona, legal decision-making and parenting time are two important considerations when it comes to determining custody arrangements. While sole legal decision-making is granted for various reasons, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t necessarily mean the parent with sole decision-making authority also has sole physical custody. The court will always make a decision that is in the best interests of the child, with safety and well-being as the top priority.