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The Confusion About Child Custody

Posted on: November 5th, 2012 by Scott Law

Child custody has proven to be one of the most confusing and misunderstood areas of family law for people facing a Phoenix custody or divorce case.  So, what does the term “custody” mean?  Most individuals seeking the advice of a Phoenix family law attorney use this term to explain who they desire their children to physically reside with.  For example, a person wanting equal parenting time may often refer to this as having “joint custody.”  Or, someone who feels that the other parent should have no parenting time will refer this as “sole custody.”  What is important to understand is that when a court in Maricopa County speaks about custody, they are referring to each parent’s ability to make legal decisions regarding their children.  So, a person having sole custody would have the sole right to make important legal decisions with regard to the children.  Legal decisions include, but are not limited to, education, medical care and religion.  A person having joint custody would have an equal right to be a part of making these important decisions for the children.  That means that both parents would have to be consulted before these decisions are made and agree upon those decisions.

The court has the ability to add various specific terms into the final orders and to specify which parent has the final authority in making decisions regarding the children.  A Phoenix custody attorney can assist in exploring these options to ensure that the proper court relief is requested.  For more information on custody in Phoenix contact Scott Law Offices.