What are the Arizona Child Custody Laws?
Arizona child custody laws look at several factors for determining child custody. The key basis for determining child custody in the state of Arizona is where the child’s best interests lie. While determining child custody, the state’s family courts do not differentiate against a parent based on their gender.
Child’s best interest is given high preference
Child custody laws in Arizona, as well as, the legal system ascertain a child’s custody in the state based on the child’s best interests. Arizona’s family courts will look at the factors mentioned below while ascertaining child custody,
- Wishes of each co-parent
- Wishes of the child
- Adjustment of the child to the community, school, and home
- History of child abuse or domestic violence if any
- Relationship of the child with each parent
- The physical and mental health of all the stakeholders
- Relationship of the child with both the parents
- Whether the child has been offered primary care by the parents
- The willingness of each parent to foster a substantial and meaningful relationship with the other co-parent.
Joint child custody laws in Arizona
Courts in Arizona can grant sole custody or joint custody to the parents. Custody can be thus either of the following types in Arizona
Joint legal custody
- Not direct joint physical custody
A court in Arizona may reward joint custody if it feels that the arrangement will serve the best interests of the child. Before determining joint custody in Arizona, the courts usually look at the following factors:
Lack of agreement or agreements that parents have related to joint custody
- The feasibility of the arrangement for a joint custody
- When the parents differ, whether such lack of agreement shows their indifference and are not related to the child’s best interests
- The ability of each parent to cooperate and communicate with one another
In Arizona, a court grants joint custody when both the parents agree to such arrangements and give a properly written plan on their parenting. It is also granted when the court feels that such an order is in the child’s best interests. Typically, such a parenting plan comprises the responsibilities and rights of each parent on issues like the physical residence, health care, and education of the child, as well as, the way in which any dispute will be taken care of.
Other factors looked at while ascertaining child custody
In Arizona, the factors listed below can have an effect on the ability of a parent to get the child’s visitation or custody:
Whether the parent has been convicted with the charge of a murder
- History of any of a parent’s drug offenses
- Whether a parent has been found guilty of a sexual offense in Arizona
Yet, the child custody law in the state will also look at the attendance of the parents during counseling sessions, as well as, the type of crime committed by a parent before denying custody rights.
Under the arrangement of joint legal custody, both parents enjoy the freedom of making important life decisions for their child. On the other hand, when a parent gets the sole physical custody of their child, the latter stays with that parent full time. However, the non-custodial parent shares the arrangement of legal custody or has visitation rights.
It is another way used by parents for handling decisions related to rearing their children. It typically acknowledges the following points:
- Kids’ needs to grow and change as they mature
- It is in the best interest of the child to continue with a parent-child relationship
- Both parents should have access to the official records of their child
- A custodial parent will make the day-to-day decisions.