If you have children, nothing is more important to you than their well-being. That’s why child custody, to most parents, is the number-one issue in a divorce or legal separation. Understanding the key legal issues and finding an experienced Chandler child custody lawyer to review your matter are crucial to a favorable outcome, both immediately and for the long term.
Types of child custody
Child custody is the determination of which parent(s) or guardian(s) are allowed to care for a child, and when they are allowed to do so. In legalese, the word custody is shorthand for “care, custody and control.” This means having legal authority over and responsibility for the welfare of a minor. In family court, child custody breaks down into legal and physical custody.
Legal custody, or what is now in Arizona called legal decision-making, means the ability to make important decisions relating to the child’s well-being. This includes which doctor(s) the child goes to; which school(s) the child attends; whether, and if so, where the child worships; who the child’s friends are; and with which relatives the child can spend time.
Physical custody, or what is now in Arizona called parenting time, is just as it sounds: the physical location of the child, or the parent or guardian with whom the child lives most of the time.