Arizona Divorce Guide

You must create a Parenting Plan

In actions for divorce, separation or Parenting plansannulment, parties with minor children must submit a parenting plan and custody schedule to the court before those actions can be finalized. If the parties fail in that effort, the court will impose its own plan on the parents. A properly assembled parenting plan becomes a part of the custody court order.

If you are seeking shared parenting (joint custody) with your divorcing spouse, you must agree to the following:
  1. Both parents must agree to the joint custody order
  2. Both parents must agree that joint custody is in the best interest of the child
  3. A written parenting plan and custody schedule must be submitted to the court

To reinforce Arizona’s expectation that shared parenting should encourage parents to work with one another to help their children thrive using structured approaches, the parties must include in their plan:

  • Each parent’s rights and responsibilities detailing the care of the child and the decision-making responsibilities that impact the child’s education, health, and religious affiliation
  • A residency schedule that defines where the child will be during holidays and school vacations
  • A defined procedure (mediation or otherwise) when there are disagreements about the care of the child
  • An agreed-to schedule of reviewing the details of the plan (yearly, every 18 months, etc.)
  • An acknowledgement that each parent understand that shared parenting (joint custody) does not mean equal parenting time

Save yourself the hassle by downloading divorce forms here

How to put it together

Forms and templates designed to create parenting plans are all over the internet. Some are state-specific while others are intended to be generic enough to be used in multiple states. If your situation is such that you do not require many specifics about how you each will parent, simplified (free) forms may work for you.

For those that require finer detail, or anticipate difficulty with an ex’s errant behavior, a more in-depth plan may be in order. Do you anticipate a constant stream of disagreements with your Ex about the kids? Perhaps some interference in visitation schedules? Do you anticipate frequent changes to your kids’ schedules in coming years? If the road looks rocky, you should have the court-ordered plan online, including the parenting time schedule. Our Family Wizard is a unique platform that has every feature you can think of in managing your child’s’ schedule into the future. Go take a peek.

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