What Parenting Time Schedule is Appropriate for My Child?
Determining what parenting time schedule is appropriate for a child can often be challenging. The Court looks to Arizona law (A.R.S. 25-403) in determining what type of parenting time schedule is in the best interests of the minor child. Some of the factors the Court considers are:
- The wishes of the parents;
- The child’s wishes;
- The interaction of the child with each parent, any other siblings and any other person who may affect the child’s best interests;
- The child’s adjustment to home, school and community;
- The mental and physical health of each person involved in the case;
- Which parent is more likely to allow frequent and meaningful contact with the other parent;
- Whether one or both parents has been the primary caregiver of the child in the past;
- Whether either parent has attempted to use duress or coercion to force the other parent into reaching an agreement regarding custody and/or parenting time;
- Whether either parent was convicted of false reporting of child abuse or neglect against the other parent; and
- Whether there has been domestic violence or child abuse.
The Court will also consider substance abuse issues, criminal convictions and any other conduct of the parents that is contrary to the child’s best interests.
There are a numerous options when it comes to scheduling parenting time. The Court will look towards the feasibility of a schedule prior to adopting it and consider any strain that a schedule will place on the child. The distance between the parent’s households can be a factor as well as the parents’ work schedules. In considering what parenting time schedule is best for a child, the Superior Court of Maricopa County has adopted Parenting Time Guidelines to assist the parents and the Court in making a final determination on what parenting time schedule is appropriate for the child. However, each family is different and the schedules set forth in the Guideline may not fit each circumstance. The Maricopa County Parenting Time Guidelines can be accessed through the following link: