Before proceeding with a child custody case in Mesa, AZ, or any other city in the Phoenix metro area, a parent should be familiar with the vocabulary used in such proceedings. In Arizona there are five key terms, each with its own unique interpretations. The following child custody terms and definitions found in Statute: 25-402, can help any person seeking child custody to understand their rights:

  1. Joint Custody: Joint Custody can refer to Joint Legal Custody, Joint Physical Custody, or it can also refer to both.
  2. Joint Legal Custody: Joint Legal Custody means both parents of the child are equal in the eyes of the law, without any parent being superior to each other when it comes to the child. Joint Legal Custody may be changed by the decision of the court or by the parents in their final judgments.
  3. Joint Physical Custody: Joint Physical Custody means the physical residence of the child is between both of the parents, and allows an amount of time and contact with each parent that is equal, or as close to equal as possible.
  4. Parenting time: A parent awarded parenting time has the right to live with the child physically. The parent also has the rights and responsibilities of the child during their time together, including major decisions about the child’s care.
  5. Sole Custody: Sole Custody awards full legal custody of the child to one person or parent, and possibly Sole Physical custody as well.

Knowing what these terms mean is important for any parent seeking custody of their child, no matter what kind. If you have any questions about child custody in the East Valley, please contact the Mesa, AZ family law firm of JacksonWhite. Our Mesa, AZ child custody attorney, Tim Durkin, can assess your case during a confidential consultation. To schedule your consultation with Tim, call 480-464-1111.