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Sept. 6, 2018-Arizona’s January 2013 Parenting Time Law Reform

Due to the Jewish holy days that are starting on Monday, Sept. 10th, we are adjusting for the next short period of time our twice weekly schedule so that these emails will not be sent on the holy days.

Arizona’s January 2013 Parenting Time Law Reform

In January 2013, Arizona became the first state to order that, “Consistent with the child’s best interests . . . the court shall adopt a parenting plan that maximizes [both parents’] respective parenting time” (Arizona Revised Statutes 25-403.02). The Governor’s signing statement released to the media said, “The ultimate goal is to limit one-sided custody decisions and to encourage as much shared parent-child time as possible for the positive development of the child.”

William V. Fabricius, Michael Aaron, Faren R. Akins, John J. Assini & Tracy McElroy (2018): What Happens When There Is Presumptive 50/50 Parenting Time? An Evaluation of Arizona’s New Child Custody Statute, Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, p. 1. DOI:10.1080/10502556.2018.1454196

Gene C. Colman Observation: The Arizona legislation sounds strikingly similar to Canada’s friendly parent provision in the Divorce Act, s. 16. Yet the Arizona interpretation of their statute has effectively been interpreted as a rebuttable presumption for Equal Shared Parenting. Prof. Fabricius writes at page 3: “The language appeared to some lawyers to be a rebuttable presumption for shared parenting, even though the statute did not define the words “substantial, frequent, meaningful and continuing.”

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