If you and your spouse have decided to get a divorce and you have children, your divorce decree will spell out your children's living situation. For instance, will your children live with you, and if so, under what circumstances will your future ex be able to visit with your children?
One of the most common setups when it comes to child custody in Arizona is joint custody, which may be in the form of true joint custody or joint legal custody. Here is a look at what joint custody entails in Arizona.
What is true joint custody?
In a true joint custody arrangement, both you and your future ex will share equal physical custody and legal custody of the children. In other words, you will both take part in arriving at decisions concerning your children's welfare and upbringing. In addition, you will split time 50/50 (or as close thereto as possible) when it comes to caring for the children and assuming responsibility for them. These types of custody arrangements are not as common since they can cause practical problems, such as those related to scheduling, and personal difficulties, including disrupting the children's routine.
An example of true joint custody is when you and your ex have agreed to work amicably to arrive at an agreement concerning the children's upbringing. In addition, you come up with a mutually satisfactory schedule where your children live with you for one month and then the other party the next month.
What is joint legal custody?
This type of custody arrangement is far more common compared with true joint custody. With joint legal custody, you and the other party both have the right to make decisions that affect the rearing of your children long term. However, just one parent receives primary physical custody of the children.
As an example, you and your ex will work toward an agreement on major issues involving the children's upbringing. However, the children will live solely with you, which will help them to maintain a stable routine as they transition to life after their parents' divorce.
Your rights when it comes to child custody
If you and your future ex can create a parenting agreement that incorporates both of your desires, you can avoid further court intervention. However, if you cannot do this, a judge will step in and ultimately make a child custody decision based on what is in the children's best interests. In either scenario, you have the right to pursue the most personally favorable outcome while keeping your child's interests at the forefront.