This guide can give you a place to start your research when you have a case involving parenting time. When the court issues an order regarding parenting time this affects the days/times each parent has access to their child(ren). The schedule can differ during the school year and summertime, and includes holidays. Parenting time differs from legal decision-making (referred to in other states as “legal custody”). Legal decision-making is about which parent is allowed to make major decisions for the child(ren) such as healthcare, schooling, personal care, and religious training.

"Parenting time " means the schedule of time during which each parent has access to a child at specified times.  Each parent during their scheduled parenting time is responsible for providing the child with food, clothing and shelter and may make routine decisions concerning the child's care.   ARS §25-401(5) 

“Parenting Plan” means a schedule setting forth the time that each parent will have physical custody of a child and the responsibility to provide the child with adequate care and make routine decisions for the child. ARS §25-401(5)

"Visitation" means a schedule of time that occurs with a child by someone other than a legal parent. ARS §25-401(7)

Arizona Revised Statutes §§ 25-401 through 25-417: These Arizona statutes govern parenting time.

Arizona Revised Statute §25-403.02: This statute outlines what is required in a parenting plan.

Arizona Revised Statute §25-411(A): This statute outlines when/how someone may modify their existing parenting time order.

Arizona Revised Statute §25-416: This statute outlines how a conviction of sexual assault affects parenting time rights.

Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure, Rule 23: Describes the initial petition and response in a family court action.

Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure, Rule 91.3: Describes the procedure for modifying a court order for parenting time.

The Superior Court in Maricopa County has created forms that you can use to establish parenting time. Please be sure to read the checklist for each packet to ensure the forms are right for your situation.

Establish Parenting Time - Use these forms if you already have a court order for only child support and want a court order for parenting time, but not legal decision-making.

Pre-Decree Temporary Orders - Use these forms when you have an ongoing case for a divorce, legal separation, or establishing paternity and/or legal decision making, or parenting time but you also need a temporary order while the case proceeds.

Modify Parenting Time - Use these forms if you have an existing parenting time order from the court that you would like to change.

Post-Decree Temporary Orders with Notice – Use these forms when you are filing to modify and also want to ask the Court for an interim order while the modification is in process.  

Post-Decree Temporary Orders without Notice – Use these forms if there is an emergency affecting the health or safety of the child and you need the Court to enter an order without giving notice to the other parent first.

Enforce Parenting Time Order - Use this form if you have a court order for parenting time and the other party is not following the order.

Akins, Faren R. “Child custody and shared parenting in Arizona.” Eau Claire, WI: National Business Institute: Eau Claire, WI. 2005. KFA2504.6 .A33. Available at the Downtown Phoenix Law Library.

AZ Court Help Parenting Plan Examples.; Arizona Bar Foundation. Phoenix, AZ. 2022.

Cantor, I., and Smith, C. M., Arizona Practice: Marriage Dissolution Practice (volumes 3). Thomson Reuters, KFA 2500 .S65. Also available on Westlaw.

Creighton, C. A., Arizona Legal Forms: Domestic Relations (volumes 4, 4A). Thomson Reuters, KFA 2468 .A75. Also available on Westlaw.

Planning for Parenting Time: Arizona’s Guide for Parents Living Apart. Court Services Division; Arizona Supreme Court. Phoenix, AZ. 2013. En español aquí.

Things You Should Know About Legal Decision-Making and Parenting Time. Court Services Division; Arizona Supreme Court. Phoenix, AZ. 2014. En español aquí.

This information is provided by the Law Library Resource Center of the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County.

You may contact a reference librarian as follows:



in person: 101 W. Jefferson, Phoenix


You may contact the Law Library Resource Center at:

phone: 602-506-7353


Last update: 1/5/2023

Disclaimer: The information provided in these guides is for research purposes only. We do not provide legal advice. For legal advice, please speak to an attorney. These guides are reviewed and updated periodically. The most recent revision date is on the guide. There may be more current information available. These guides are intended as a starting point only and do not include all information or materials related to the topic.