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Scottsdale, AZ 85267

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Joint Custody

The two main types of custody are sole custody and joint custody. Joint custody usually refers to legal custody of the children. Legal joint custody of the child means that both parents have the legal capacity or power to make decisions on the behalf of their child.

An example of a legal decision parents make for their children is consent to medical treatment. Typically doctors and hospitals need parental authority to treat a sick child. With legal joint custody, either parent or both parents are legally authorized to give consent.

Scottsdale Joint Custody Lawyer

The Daly Law Firm represents clients dealing divorces and child custody issues in the greater Phoenix area. If you have been served with divorce papers or you are contemplating a divorce, contact the Daly Law Firm for an analysis of your case. Child custody can be one of the most contentious issues when it comes to divorce. Joint custody is an ideal custody arrangement, but usually the parents need experienced legal representation in order to reach a consensus that is suitable for everyone involved.

Joint Legal Custody vs. Joint Physical Custody

Usually if parents get joint legal custody they will also have joint physical custody. The legal custody enables the both parents to make legal decisions for their child. Also the parents should be on the same page about raising their child. For instance both parents should agree on their child’s religion or how old the child needs to be in order to date. Sometimes parents can designate one parent to make the decisions for the child, but the main point is that both parents have the legal ability to make decisions for the child together.

Joint Physical custody means that the child’s time between both parents should be split 50/50. Truly equal parenting time is difficult to arrange unless the parents are dedicated to working out a 50/50 schedule. Usually the child ends up spending the bulk of time with one parent and visits the other parent. Depending on the particular family dynamic the courts can assist in determining a suitable visitation schedule.

Guidelines for Arizona’s Parenting Plan

Arizona requires parents to come up with a parenting plan if they have been awarded joint custody of their children. The plan is made part of the court decree and it lays out the framework of many things regarding the parent’s decision making process for their child. All Arizona parenting plans must incorporate the following things:

  • A residential plan

    This plan establishes the child’s primary residence and visitation schedule.

  • A statement acknowledging that joint custody does not automatically result in equal parenting time.

  • A provision for periodic review of the parenting plan

    The review does not have to be formal. The court does not usually modify the agreement unless there are serious modifications or changes that the parents want a court order to enforce.

    Usually the parents will elect a mediator, counselor or church member to help them work out disputes before going back to court for a formal modification of the parenting plan.

  • Provisions for how parents will be involved with caring for the child and how major decisions affecting the child’s education, religion and health care will be resolved.


Arizona’s Guide for Parents Living Apart - provides tips on creating parenting plans and visitation.

Daly Law Firm – Phoenix Joint Custody Lawyer

The Daly Law Firm represents clients going thorough divorce in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, and surrounding areas of Maricopa County, Arizona. If you have a child custody case it is important to talk to an experienced Scottsdale child custody attorney about your options. Contact the Daly Law Firm today by calling (480) 607-8308 to schedule your free initial consultation with attorney Doug Daly.

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