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Which parent makes decisions when a child faces an emergency?

No parent wants to envision an event where their child is lost, hurt or otherwise in danger. However, all across Arizona parents find themselves confronted with difficult situations involving the health and welfare of their children.

When parents share custody of their kids with their former partner, they may be unsure of just what they can do without first consulting with the child's other parent when accidents and crises occur. In Arizona, emergencies present a situation where a custodial parent may generally act without first consulting their ex.

 

What this means is that when a child is in the custody of one parent, that parent may act quickly to make emergency decisions about their care. Parents who share legal and physical custody of their kids should as soon as possible consult with their child's other parent about their kid's ongoing needs. However, when actual emergencies occur and time is of the essence, custodial parents may take control of decision-making for their kids.

In situations where a parent has sole custody of their child, that parent generally always makes emergency and other decisions about how to protect the health and welfare of their offspring. Shared custody can complicate the balance of how and when parents are allowed to serve as the exclusive authorities of their kids, but in emergency situations parents must act to protect their children's interests.

Child custody questions can be multi-layered and can open up new questions as they are answered. It is important that readers do not rely on this post as legal advice. Instead, they may want to talk to a professional about their parental rights over their kids.

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