Issues of legal decision making during a divorce can be complex, both legally and emotionally. Regardless if you choose sole legal decision making or joint legal decision making, your primary focus needs to be the best interests of your child. An experienced Phoenix legal decision making lawyer can help you understand all of the ramifications and aid in your child’s interests.
Arizona courts do not favor one parent over the other, based on gender, while deciding on legal decision making. Legal decision making refers to the right of a person to make decisions about the physical, educational, health and spiritual needs of the child.
Types of Legal Decision Making in Arizona
There are two different legal decision making options that Arizona courts could possibly award. These two options form a general framework of options and people may have any combination of arrangements depending upon your personal circumstances.
Joint Legal Decision Making
Both parents in this scenario have equal right to make decisions for their child. Neither parent will have preference over the other’s decision. In some cases, the court may order that certain issues regarding the child will be decided by only one parent.
Many factors are evaluated by the court before deciding to award legal decision making to either parent. This could include but is not limited to:
- The age of the child.
- Mental and physical heath of the child.
- Mental and physical health of the parents.
- History of domestic violence.
- Any parental history of alcohol or drug abuse.
- Criminal record of the parents.
- The parent’s preferences.
- The child’s preferences for legal decision making.
- The amount of time the parent can spare from work.
- The progress of the child in school.
Sole Legal Decision Making
In this scenario only one parent has the right to make important decisions for the child. Sole legal decision making doesn’t mean that decisions are unilateral. Both parents may discuss these decisions, but the parent who has been given sole legal decision making, will have final say on these matters.
Sole legal decision making can be awarded to one party by the agreement of both parents. The court may order sole legal decision due to circumstances that cause the court to question the fitness of the non-custodial parent. The court may also award sole legal decision making where both parents are fit, but are simply unable to work with one another.
Contact a Phoenix Family Law Attorney at Enholm Law, PLLC today for a consultation.