Posted on by Randi

As you may be aware, during September, 2016, Angelina Jolie-Pitt recently filed for divorce during September, 2016, and requested “sole custody” of the children she and Brad Pitt have in common (including their adopted children). Jolie-Pitt filed for divorce and custody in California, where the courts only favor equal parenting time if the parents both agree to it. California is one of the states considered to still be more in favor of children living with solely with their mother and having “visitation” with their father, rather than living 50% of the time with their mother and 50% of the time with their father.

Most states, including Arizona, are leaning more and more towards ordering parenting plans which provide for essentially “equal parenting time.” Why? According to Time Magazine, there are extensive studies showing that children who spend substantial amounts of time with both parents are less depressed. Time also alleged that there are many, many studies having to do with how a mother prepares a child for a healthy adulthood, how a father prepares a child for a healthy adulthood and how each plays different rolls in preparing any child to be “healthy” adult. The article did not cite any particular studies or name any sources for the assertions.

A few years ago, the Arizona legislature enacted a statute which provides that “the court shall work to maximize each parent’s time with the minor children.”

While the Arizona courts do now lean towards equal parenting time, there is no law mandating equal parenting time.

At SIRLIN LAW FIRM, LLC, we believe that each parent’s situation really needs to be evaluated on a “case by case” basis, because no two situations are the same. If there are problems with a parent in regard to the parent’s emotional, mental or physical health, those need to be taken into consideration. If a parent has substance abuse or anger issues, those needs to be taken into consideration.

If a child does not know one of the parents well, that needs to be taken into consideration.

Also, it is not always feasible for the parents to share equal parenting time, based upon one or the other parent’s obligations such as their employment schedule, the distance they live from the children’s school, etc.

If you are a parent in Arizona and a lawyer tells you that the court is going to Order that your children live 50% with each parent, don’t necessarily believe it. While Arizona law prohibits the Court from favoring one or the other parent based upon their gender, there is no law stating that the court MUST order equal parenting time and that is not always what is in the child, or children’s, best interests.

SIRLIN LAW FIRM, LLC provides a 2 hour consultation. During the consultation, an attorney will review your particular situation with its unique circumstances, including the issues mentioned above and also many other issues. We will ask about your child’s personality in terms of how the child deals with change, how your child relates to you and to the other parent, the age of your child or children, For example, whether your child is well bonded to both parents or not, etc. We will THEN let you know what we believe a court would order in your situation and what is the best way to achieve your goals in the Court, in light of all aspects of your situation.

Please call 602-561-8107 to speak with a family law attorney or domestic relations lawyer about your situation. We will happily take some time to listen to you on the phone, without charge, and then recommend whether we believe a consultation will help you to understand how your family and your children are likely to be viewed by the Court (and any particular judge) and to evaluate your situation further.

Randi S. Sirlin has been an Arizona family law attorney for almost 22 years and will guide you in the right direction. We encourage you to read reviews regarding Ms. Sirlin and give us a call so that we can start to help you immediately. We offer full representation and flat fee representation. We also offer reduced fees to those who demonstrate financial hardship.

We offer appointments during regular business hours and we will provide evening appointments upon request.

Again, the number to call is 602-561-8107. Calls will be answered by an attorney, during most business days, until 8:30 p.m. or later.

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