NEW Arizona COVID-19 Parenting Time Guidelines

NEW Arizona COVID-19 Parenting Time Guidelines

The Superior Court in Maricopa County has issued new Family Court Guidelines for Parenting Time of Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic. These new guidelines comply with Governor Ducey’s Executive Order 2020-18 (Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected), CDC recommendations, and applicable family law. If you have a parenting plan or parenting time order, then these guidelines may apply to you.

How to Comply with Parenting Time Orders

With school closures, executive orders, illness, and logistical challenges, mothers and fathers under parenting time orders now have greater certainty. The guidelines instruct parents as to what they should and should not do with family routines disrupted by the pandemic.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Parents must comply with any existing parenting time orders unless they agree otherwise, or until the orders are modified.
  • COVID-19 is not generally a reason to deny parenting time.
  • Parents being on the road for the purpose of transporting children under a parenting plan does not violate Arizona Executive Order 2020-18.
  • How spring break, summer break, vacation time, and holidays should be interpreted.
  • What to do if a family member has a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
  • How to manage parenting time in public places.
  • How to carry out supervised parenting time.
  • How to conduct parenting time exchanges while limiting spread of the virus.

For the complete list with full descriptions and explanations, download and read the guidelines. Share them with the other parent. Communicate and cooperate in the best interests of your children. Contact your family law attorney if you have concerns about parenting time access or believe temporary orders should be obtained.

Common Child Custody FAQs

for more answers to frequently asked questions regarding child custody see our full page on the subject. 

Are Legal Custody and physical Custody the Same Thing?

No, they are not the same and here is the difference between the two. The parent who is awarded legal custody has the right to make important decisions about the child’s upbringing, including religious affiliation, education, healthcare provider, and so on. When it comes to the child’s living arrangements, the parent who is awarded physical custody has the rights and responsibilities necessary to manage every aspect of the child’s day-to-day care.

Can we make our own custody agreement?

Yes. Parents who are able to compromise on their custody arrangements, without turning the decision-making over to the judge, are strongly encouraged to do so. So long as your agreement is in the best interests of the children, you and the other parent may settle custody and access issues by private agreement.

What is a parenting plan?

Arizona applies a co-parenting model over child custody. So when the parents seek joint custody, they are required by law to submit a written parenting plan to the court. The parenting plan provides a defined, predictable custody arrangement. It delineates the terms of access that both parents must abide by, and upon which the child will learn to depend. The plan is then made a part of the child custody orders issued by the court, rendering it fully enforceable by and against both parents.


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