Are you wondering what child visitation might have in store for you? Technically, child visitation is known by the Arizona courts as parenting time, and can be assigned independently of decision making rights (Arizona’s term for custody). Depending on how mediation and court goes, there are a number of ways you could be granted child visitation. Here are the scenarios you’re potentially looking at.
- Equal custody and parenting time: Arizona operates under the assumption that unless there’s good reason to believe otherwise, both parents have equal rights to be a part of their children’s lives. The court will also prioritize the well-being of the child over the convenience and desires of the parents. As a result, the default is to split both custody and parenting time as equally as possible between the parents. In these situations, you may need to share decision making rights with the other parent, with one parent having the final decision if you can’t come to an agreement together. Parenting time will be split as equally as possible, too, using a parenting schedule to minimize conflicts.
- Non-custodial parent visitation: If your co-parent is given primary physical custody of your child, that ust means they’ve been awarded more parenting time. It does not mean that parent has more legal decision making rights. In this case, you may still be given regular child visitation time according to a parenting schedule, but it may be less than an equal split. For example, you may get every other weekend with your child, plus an evening or two during the week. In long distance parenting situations, you may get child visitation during school vacations, summer time and alternate holidays with your co-parent.
- Supervised visitation: If the court determines you could be a danger to your child, you may be awarded only supervised child visitation. For instance, the court may mandate supervised visitation if you have a history of substance abuse or mental health issues, or if there are allegations of physical abuse. In these cases, your time with your child will be much more limited, and you’ll need a chaperone to supervise the visit. This could be a third party, such as a family member, or it could be a trained professional, such as a social worker or psychologist.
- No visitation: It is possible in some situations that you may be denied visitation with your child entirely. Because Arizona courts believe that a continued relationship with both parents is best for the child in most circumstances, it would take a fairly extreme situation to be denied visitation altogether, and may be something you could have reversed in court with an experienced lawyer to present your case.
- Grandparent child visitation: In some circumstances, grandparents can be awarded visitation with their grandchild by Arizona courts. If your child died and their partner won’t let you see your grandchild, if your grandchild was born out of wedlock, if there’s a pending divorce, or if the parents have been divorced for at least three months, you can petition the court for visitation with your grandchild.
Having an experienced family law attorney in your corner is the best way to get a favorable outcome in your divorce, child custody, or child visitation battle. For more information about the different visitation scenarios or to discuss the likely outcome of your case, schedule a consultation with Simon Law Group, PLLC, today.