Honest, Experienced And Personalized Family Law Service

Child Custody is Like Fashion

Child custody is only like fashion in that old styles are rearing their heads.


Historically, some divorced parents shared joint custody, and some had sole custody over the children. In 2010, the laws were amended to create a presumption that parents sharing joint custody was in a child’s best interest. This became the norm with virtually all co-parenting relationships involving joint custody (now called legal decision-making). One parent having final decision-making authority in the event of a parental disagreement. Sole legal decision-making was typically reserved for cases involving significant domestic violence or substance abuse issues.

Sole Legal Decision-Making

Fast forward to March 2018, when the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that final decision-making authority was essentially the same as sole legal decision-making. Now, in the event of significant parenting disagreements, parents are facing the possibility of one parent having the full authority to make all decisions about the children.

What Changes?

For parents that can get along well enough for their children’s sake, this change doesn’t mean much. However, for parents who are repeatedly in conflict, they face the very real possibility that one parent is going to lose out on being able to decide such things as children’s schooling, medical care, and religious upbringing.

This is not the only major change to the laws. It seems almost weekly that a new appellate case ruling is issued impacting at least one aspect of family law. This is in addition to new limitations on issues judges are able to address, the significant tax changes regarding child tax dependency, and the taxability of spousal maintenance.

Consult with an Experienced Family Law Attorney

An experienced family law attorney helps protect legal rights involving important things like children and money. At Duenas Eden, the bulk of our practice is family law. Have questions about your particular situation? Call us for a consultation (480) 285-1735. Our knowledge and experienced family law attorneys can discuss the recent changes that may have a significant impact on you. Our Office in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, AZ and we serve the communities of Ocotillo, Chandler, Laveen, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert and San Tan Valley.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.