Arizona Child Custody Lawyer for Legal Decision-Making Authority

It’s no secret that child custody can be one of the most delicate parts of any family law or divorce proceeding, and at the Law Offices of Daniel Hutto, we take the job of advocating for your best custody arrangement possible very seriously.

But in Arizona, child custody is much more important than the quality time you receive with your children — it also involves your ability to make sure their needs are being met and the other adults in their lives are not making decisions about your children’s wellbeing without your consent or knowledge.

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Decision-Making Authority: A Look at Child Custody Law in Arizona

In Arizona, “child custody” is now broken down into two constructs: legal decision-making authority and parenting time. Legal decision-making authority and parenting time go hand in hand, and both must be determined in any divorce proceeding involving children or paternity action. Under Arizona law, the ability to make decisions for your child covers a wide array of topics, including, but not limited to:

    • What kind of medical treatment your children regularly receive and during times of emergency
    • Where your children will attend school
    • Who, other than the other natural or adoptive parent, can care for your children in your absence
    • Religious practices and where your children worship
    • Daily grooming decisions for your children
    • What afterschool and extracurricular activities your children are involved in
As you can see, legally, parenting encompasses much more than simple visitation or where your child will go on the weekends. Who makes these important choices once you are divorced? And who, aside from the other natural or adoptive parent, can legally make these important decisions? It can be scary to think that decisions regarding your child’s health and wellbeing aren’t entirely in your control after a divorce or paternity action.  An experienced attorney is your best asset during this difficult process.

Things to Consider in Child Custody

At the Law Offices of Daniel Hutto, our experienced team of Arizona child custody attorneys know exactly how to handle these matters, and have years of experience, knowledge and legal victories to help you resolve your case.

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The 3 Levels of Decision-Making Power for Divorced Parents in Arizona: The Legal Terms for Legal Custody

Under Arizona law, there are three variations of decision-making authority. In everyday use, we see people discuss these decision-making powers as different levels of legal custody, but in court, these terms define how much decision-making power each parent has.

Joint legal decision-making authority: Also known as “joint legal custody”, this occurs when both parents must work together to reach a common conclusion prior to making any decisions on behalf of the minor children.  In this type of scenario, neither parent’s decision-making power is superior to the other.  In the event the parents are unable to reach a joint decision together, they must petition the Court to resolve the dispute.  If you find yourself in this type of a situation, our experienced attorneys can help you navigate this often-difficult process.

Joint legal decision-making authority with final authority: In this scenario, parents are still required to work together to reach a joint decision, however, in the event a decision cannot be made, one parent has the final decision-making power to override the other parent.  Often, parents mistakenly believe final authority allows them to unilaterally make decisions on behalf of the minor children; however, this is incorrect.  Both parents must make reasonable, good faith efforts to work together to reach a common conclusion.  Only after such, does the parent with final authority have superior decision-making power over the other.

Sole legal decision-making authority: In the third scenario, one parent will have all decision-making power as the sole decision-maker. In this situation, often referred to as sole legal custody, one parent is given all decision-making power and does not need mutual consent from the other parent in order to make decisions on behalf of the minor children. In this scenario however, the parent with sole legal decision-making authority is still required to communicate with the other parent regarding decisions made on behalf of the minor children.  Unlike the other two options listed above, the sole legal decision-maker can make unilateral decisions on behalf of the minor children, without first obtaining consent from the other parent.

If you find yourself in a decision-making arrangement that does not work or is not in the best interests of your children, you will need the help of a child custody lawyer in Arizona to fight hard for what is in your best interests.

Mother and Daughter Reading

Best Rated Phoenix Child Custody Lawyer for Legal Decision Making

As an accomplished, intelligent and aggressive Arizona child custody law firm, the team at the Law Office of Daniel Hutto PLLC will advocate on your behalf to accomplish the decision-making arrangement you need to raise your children the way you see fit. We’re passionate about custody and parents’ rights, and we’re dedicated to successfully helping clients navigate the most stressful and difficult time of their lives.

As a second-generation Arizonan and graduate from the Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law at Arizona State University, attorney Daniel Hutto is dedicated to the clients he serves and achieving the best results possible.  Daniel, both personally and with his firm, prides himself on a decade of successful case outcomes for clients just like you.

To start with your free attorney consultation today, give us a call at 602.536.7878 and our experienced and caring staff will take all the needed information to get your child custody and legal decision making case underway.

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    Some of Our Real Client Reviews

    • Daniel was really great! I did not work work him directly but the work he’s done for my best friend and her daughter, we are so grateful for! He was really dedicated, always available when she needed him, professional and well prepared. He helped my best friend get primary custody of her daughter which is never an easy matter and he did advised well and knew his stuff. Thank you Daniel!
      ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Savanah Linares (Review from Google)
    • Daniel and Shannon are some of the best lawyers out here. I came to them with a very complex and all over the place case. I have called a few other lawyers prior to retaining Daniel and those offices pretty much turned me away. As soon as I told Daniel about my case they acted quickly to assist and made such movement that took me months to do on my own. I truly felt that Shannon and Daniel took my case to heart and their passion about it was amazing. Thank you so much for your help and guidance. If anyone is looking for aggressive but very passionate lawyers you need to stop playing and retain the office of Daniel hutto..
      ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Anthony Wilson (Review from Google)
    • If I could rate this law office 100 stars I would. Daniel and his staff went above and beyond what they needed to do to help me with my case. They did it with the utmost professionalism and respect. I couldn't have asked for a better law office to represent me. I would highly recommend to anyone who needed an attorney.
      ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Taylor Cochran (Review from Google)
    • Tried and proven! I highly recommend Daniel and his team for any international matters that you may need. Daniel is an AMAZING attorney and his professional service was simply awesome. Caring and a very knowledgeable attorney who keeps you involved during the entire process. He gave prompt replies, incredible legal knowledge, displayed a high level of professionalism, clear thorough advice and completed research to find the best winningest option for you! We won...Simply the BEST from start to finish!!
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