Superior Court >Self- Service Center >Glossary

Visitation Parent-child access (parenting time) is ordered so that the parent who does not have primary Legal Decision Making (Custody) of the child can still see the child. The court will order reasonable parenting time according to the age of the child, but the amount of parenting time can vary by agreement between the parents. A judge cannot make a parent visit a child if the parent does not want to.

Sometimes a party will ask for supervised parenting time. This means that the non-custodial parent only has parenting time with another person present. Supervised parenting time is ordered in cases where the non-custodial parent abuses drugs or alcohol, is violent or abusive, or does not have the parenting skills to care for the child without another adult present. Supervised parenting time is not intended to punish the parent, but to protect the child.

The Court does not generally allow a custodial parent to totally prevent the other parent from seeing the child on a regular basis. The only time this is appropriate is if the non-custodial parent has seriously harmed or abused the child, or is otherwise a serious danger to the child's emotional and /or physical health, or if there is a court order saying that the parent shall not see the child. An order of no contact by a parent is a last resort, and is used solely to protect the child.

More Help You can read the Maricopa County Parent-Child Access Guidelines to learn more about this subject and what the judge might consider appropriate in your case. You can get a copy at the Self-Service Center. If you use the guidelines you might be able to agree on parenting time arrangement that is best for the children and the parents, without the delay and expense of a contested court trial.

The judge will decide what is in the best interest of the child when deciding what kind of Legal Decision Making (Custody) and parenting time to order. Often this is complicated, and you might need legal or other professional help to understand your rights, duties, and responsibilities as to Legal Decision Making (Custody) and parent-child access (parenting time).


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