A. If the child’s parents cannot agree on a plan for legal decision-making or parenting time, each parent must submit a proposed parenting plan.

B. Consistent with the child’s best interests in section 25-403 and sections 25-403.03, 25-403.04 and 25-403.05, the court shall adopt a parenting plan that provides for both parents to share legal decision-making regarding their child and that maximizes their respective parenting time. The court shall not prefer a parent’s proposed plan because of the parent’s or child’s gender.

C. Parenting plans shall include at least the following:

  1. A designation of the legal decision-making as joint or sole as defined in section 25-401.
  2. Each parent’s rights and responsibilities for the personal care of the child and for decisions in areas such as education, health care and religious training.
  3. A practical schedule of parenting time for the child, including holidays and school vacations.
  4. A procedure for the exchanges of the child, including location and responsibility for transportation.
  5. A procedure by which proposed changes, relocation of where a child resides with either parent pursuant to section 25-408, disputes and alleged breaches may be mediated or resolved, which may include the use of conciliation services or private counseling.
  6. A procedure for periodic review of the plan’s terms by the parents.
  7. A procedure for communicating with each other about the child, including methods and frequency.
  8. A statement that each party has read, understands and will abide by the notification requirements of section 25-403.05, subsection B.

D. If the parents are unable to agree on any element to be included in a parenting plan, the court shall determine that element. The court may determine other factors that are necessary to promote and protect the emotional and physical health of the child.

E. Shared legal decision-making does not necessarily mean equal parenting time.

For more information on Family Law in Arizona click to review the following Articles and Resources:

Resource: Arizona State Legislature