What is best for the children is often a primary concern when an Arizona couple decides to divorce. Each parent has his or her own idea of what is best for the children. Additionally, if the children are old enough, they likely have their own ideas as well. In the best case scenario, all of these ideas are taken into consideration in deciding child custody issues regarding the couple's children.
The type of legal custody granted by the court determines who has the authority of make decisions for the children. These decisions typically include education, medical, religious and other life decisions. Under a sole legal custody arrangement, one parent is responsible for these decisions. However, under a joint legal custody arrangement, both parents share responsibility.
In an attempt to keep the children's best interest in the forefront, some parents are opting to create a parenting plan to help guide such decisions. This type of plan recognizes that children's needs change as they grow older and become interested in different activities. It can also give each parent the right to make emergency decisions for the children while they are in that parent's custody. Such a plan recognizes the importance of and fosters the parent-child relationship.
No two situations are identical. What may work for one Arizona family may not be what is best for another. When determining the appropriate child custody arrangement the parent will want to analyze the current and potential family dynamic and discuss this with legal counsel. This is an important step in working towards what is best for the children.