Child Custody and Post-Decree Modifications

  • Are you unhappy with your current custody order?
  • Do you feel you were underrepresented during previous litigation and want assistance in evaluating your options?

Legal custody and physical custody are two separate concepts that are frequently confused.

Legal custody is decision-making power. It is the right and responsibility to make major decisions concerning the child, except with respect to decisions set forth in an agreement made by the parties or in any court order or judgment. These decisions include authorization for nonemergency health care, choice of school and religion.

Physical custody also known as parenting time, is where a party has the right to have a child physically placed with that party. In Arizona an award of Joint Physical Custody does not necessarily mean equal parenting time.

The Law Office of Shawnna R. Riggers, P.L.L.C., will strive to negotiate the best possible parenting time arrangement that is in the best interest of the children. When a party has parenting time with the child, that parent has the right and responsibility to make, during that time, routine daily decisions regarding the child’s care, consistent with major decisions made by a person having legal custody.

Decisions regarding legal custody and physical custody can become very complicated and, at times, contentious because of the emotions involved. The Law Office of Shawnna R. Riggers, P.L.L.C. has experience helping parties work through legal custody and physical custody (parenting time) issues, including modification of legal custody and physical custody. Oftentimes we are able to reach agreements; other times, these issues need to be litigated. We will determine the most efficient means for a resolution that is fair and in the best interest of your children.