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Equal Parenting Time in Arizona

There is lots of homespun speculation out there about whether Arizona law requires equal parenting time for separating parents. Some folks think that there must be equal parenting time unless one or the other is unfit or likely to endanger the child.

This is not true.

There is a strong presumption that the court should maximize the parenting time of each parent consistent with the child’s best interests. But a recent appellate court case makes it clear that the family court can unevenly divide parenting time even if both parents are fit and neither is a danger to the child.

No. There is no statutory presumption of equal parenting time. Over the years, there have been changes in the law regarding this issue. However, none of these changes have mandated that the court presume that equal parenting time is the best for children. An Arizona appellate court case made this clear as recently as July 2020.

Though as a general rule equal or near-equal parenting time is presumed to be in a child’s best interests, the family court has discretion to determine parenting time based on all the evidence before it. The Court must decide the issue based on your child’s best interests.

Message from McCarthy Family Law​

McCarthy Family Law is a full service family law firm that services all family law issues. If you are going through a divorce or have questions about filing for divorce, we are here to assist you. Please call us at 520-623-0341 to explore your options. Turning Stress Into Solutions®.