Legal Decision-Making pertains to a court’s determination of each parent’s involvement in the primary child rearing decisions. Those decisions center generally around three areas; religion, education, and medical care, including all the smaller issues swirling around those three broad areas.
It is the public policy in the state of Arizona that it is in a child’s best interests that both parents are involved jointly in legal decision-making. However, if there is evidence to the contrary, our Courts are bound to limit a parent’s involvement. The question is generally are both parents fit? Our family law statutes define roughly for the judges what delineates an unfit parent. Two major areas that the Courts will review are direct evidence of domestic violence and substance abuse.
In Arizona, legal decision-making is determined based on a number of factors. However, the overriding basis for deciding child custody in Arizona is the best interests of the child. The court may grant either sole or joint legal decision-making.
Best Interests of a Child are Determined by a Number of Factors:
- The past, present and potential future relationship between the parent and the child.
- The relationship between the child, his/her parents, siblings, other persons who may significantly affect the child.
- The child’s adjustment to home, school and community.
- The health – both mental and physical – of each parent, the children and all others significantly involved.
- The willingness of each parent to support and facilitate the children’s ongoing relationship with the other parent.
- Wishes of the child as to legal decision-making, if he/she is of suitable age and maturity.
- Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent, meaningful and continuing contact with the other parent.
- Whether either party intentionally misled the Court to cause unnecessary delay or to or to persuade the Court to give that parent legal decision-making.
- Confirmed evidence of domestic violence, abuse, or neglect by either parent.
- Whether false allegations of abuse or neglect have been brought by either parent against the other.
Learn More About Child Custody
The professionals at the Law office of Kent Lee, PC represent individuals throughout Peoria, Glendale and the surrounding communities of Maricopa County, Phoenix, Surprise, Anthem, Arrowhead, El Mirage, Avondale, Tolleson, Buckeye, Sun City, Sun City Grand, & Sun City West.
If you need legal representation pertaining to legal decision-making, the Law Office of Kent Lee, PC can help. Please feel free to call (623) 889-7760.