Arizona Child Custody Laws FAQ

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Child Custody in Arizona Faq

Thank you for visiting our Arizona Child Custody Laws Frequently Asked Questions page.

Our Scottsdale Arizona child custody attorneys want to provide you with answers to all of your questions regarding Arizona child custody and family law.

Arizona child custody laws can be complex and, at times, very confusing.

We provide answers to the most common questions about Arizona child custody laws below to enable you to gain a better understanding of what you can expect if you are involved in a child custody case in Arizona.

What does it mean to get custody of a child in Arizona?

Custody of a child in Arizona include court orders awarding one or both parents the right to make legal decisions for their child and a parenting time schedule for those parents to spend time with their child.

What types of legal decision making child custody orders exist in Arizona?

The three types of legal decisions making in Arizona are joint legal decisions making where both parents have an equal say in making legal decisions for a child, sole legal decision making where one parent has the exclusive right to make legal decisions for a child, and joint legal decision making with one parent designated as the final decision maker for the child if the parents cannot reach an agreement regarding that legal decisions.

What types of parenting time do judges order in Arizona?

A judge has broad discretion in determining how much time each parent will spend with children and can range from one parent having primary physical custody of the child with the other parent seeing the child every other weekend to as much as equal parenting time for both parents.

Do grandparents have visitation rights to a child in Arizona?

The court may award visitation with a child in Arizona under limited circumstances such as when the parents are divorced, the parents were never married, or a parent is deceased or missing and the grandparent is the parent of that deceased or missing parent. For more detailed information about grandparents visitation rights, please refer to our in-depth article about grandparents’ visitation rights in Arizona.

Can a parent with custody of a child change the child’s last name?

A parent may ask the court to change a child’s last name in Arizona. The court will only change the child’s last name if the court decides it is in the child’s best interest to do so. For more detailed information about changing a child’s last name in Arizona, please refer to our in-depth article about changing a child’s last name in Arizona.

What is the Parent Information Program class in an Arizona child custody case?

The Parent Information Program class is a class parents are required to take if they are involved in a case that involves custody of a child. The class is intended to provide practical tips on how to effectively co-parent a child. For more detailed information about the Parent Information Program class, please read our article about the Parent Information Program class.

Do court’s favor mothers in child custody cases in Arizona?

Arizona law precludes a judge from favoring Mother’s in a child custody case in Arizona. Please review our in-depth article about whether Arizona judges favor mothers over fathers in child custody cases in Arizona.

What effect does a parenting moving multiple times have upon a child relocation case?

Multiple relocations that result in a parent moving more than 100 miles from the location where that parent resided when the last child custody order was issued triggers the application of the Arizona relocation statute. Read our in-depth article about the effective of multiple relocations of a child in Arizona.

What is parental alienation in Arizona?

Parental alienation occurs when one parent facilitates a child disengaging in a relationship with the other parent. You should read our in-depth article about parental alienation to learn more.

Will a judge enforce a court order for visitation in Arizona?

Yes, a judge will enforce a court order for visitation in Arizona. A parent needs to file a Petition to Enforce or Petition for Contempt to enforce visitation in Arizona. You should read our in-depth article on how to enforce a child visitation order in Arizona.

Can an Arizona judge delegate the right to make a child custody decision to an expert, such as a psychologist?

No, a judge cannot delegate a child custody decision to a psychologist or other expert in Arizona. You should read our in-depth article about the law that prohibits a judge from delegating child custody decisions to an expert.

Is there a presumption in Arizona that parents should have equal parenting time with their children?

There is a debate over whether Arizona child custody statutes create a presumption of equal parenting time in Arizona. Despite that debate, there is no disagreement that there is no Arizona law that specifically says there is a presumption of equal parenting time in Arizona. You should read our in-depth article about the debate over a presumption of equal parenting time in Arizona.

What do you have to prove to get sole custody of a child in Arizona?

A judge in Arizona may award a parent sole custody of a child for many reasons including, but limited to, the existence of domestic violence, child abuse, and substance abuse. You should read our in-depth article regarding how to get sole custody in Arizona.

What is considered co-parenting in Arizona?

Co-parenting in Arizona simply refers to two parents who work cooperatively with each other to raise their children in two separate households without significant conflict. You should read our in-depth article about tips on co-parenting in Arizona.

Can a parent change a child’s last name in Arizona?

A parent wishing to change a child’s last name must file a petition with the court to change the child’s last name and provide the other parent the opportunity to object to the name change. A judge will only change the child’s last name if the judge determines it is in the child’s best interests. You should read our article on how a parent can change a child’s last name.

Can a parent get emergency custody of a child in Arizona?

A judge may grant a parent emergency custody of a child if a parent files a Petition for Emergency Child Custody and a judge believes the allegations leads the judge to believe a child is in imminent danger of harm. You should read our in-depth article about getting emergency child custody orders in Arizona.

Can a parent modify visitation with a child in Arizona?

Yes, a judge can modify visitation with a child if there is a substantial and continuing change in circumstance and it is in the child’s best interests among other factors. You should read our in-depth article about how a parent may ask to modify visitation in Arizona.

What is a child custody evaluation in Arizona?

A child custody evaluation, referred to as a Comprehensive Family Evaluation, occurs when an expert, such as a psychologist, interview parents, children, family members and others and conducts psychological tests on the parents for the purpose of making child custody and parenting time recommendations to the court. You should read our in-depth articles on child custody evaluations and how to prepare for a child custody evaluation to learn more.

Can a grandparent or stepparent get custody of a child in Arizona?

Yes, a judge may award custody of a child to a grandparent or stepparent under very limited circumstances. You should read our in-depth article about how a grandparent or stepparent can get custody of a child in Arizona.

Can a parent contest the other parent’s attempt to relocate a child to another state?

Yes, a parent can object to prevent the other parent from moving their child more than 100 miles from the residence where they were living when the last child custody orders were issues. You should read our article about contesting relocation of a child in Arizona.

Who has custody of children when a divorce is file?

Both parents have an equal right to the care, custody and control of their children when a divorce is filed. You should read our in-depth article about custody of children when a divorce is file in Arizona.

Are there specific factors a judge considers before making child custody orders in Arizona?

Yes, a judge must apply the factors in Arizona Revised Statute Section 25-403 and, if a parent wants to move with the child more than 100 miles from their residence, Arizona Revised Statute Section 25-408. You should read our in depth article about the child custody factors in Arizona.

What is joint custody or joint legal custody in Arizona?

Joint legal decision making gives both parents an equal say in making decisions, such as where the child will go to school, the doctors they will see, and the medications the child will take. You should read our indepth article about joint legal custody in Arizona.

What is a Parenting Coordinator in Arizona?

A Parenting Coordinator is an expert, typically a psychologist, who is appointed by the court to meet with both parents whenever they disagree about a decision for their child. The Parenting Coordinator then issues a report to the containing his or her findings and recommendations regarding the dispute. You should read our in-depth article on Parenting Coordinators in Arizona.

Can a parent who has sole custody limit access to a child’s medical records in Arizona?

No, a parent with sole custody cannot limit the other parent’s access to a child’s medical records in Arizona. You should read our in-depth article on why a parent with sole custody can’t limit a parent’s access to a child’s medical records.

What happens in Arizona if a parent want to move out of state with a child?

The parent moving must provide written notice of the intent to relocate the child to another state. The other parent can then file an objection to the proposed relocation with the court. The court will decide the issue after a trial. You should read our indepth article about what happens when a parent want to move a child out of Arizona.

Can a parent spend time with a child if that parent loses a contested order of protection hearing and the children are on the order of protection?

If the contested hearing occurred before a municipal court judge, the parent may ask a Superior Court Judge to modify the order of protection to allow a parent to spend time with a child. However, if the contested hearing occurred before a Superior Court Judge, the parent cannot see the child until the order of protection is modified to allow visitation or it expires. Learn more about parenting time after losing an order of Protection hearing.

Can a judge issue a temporary child custody order before making final child custody orders?

Yes, a judge may issue a temporary child custody order before making final child custody orders. You should read our indepth article about temporary child custody in Arizona.

Child Custody in Arizona Faq.

Contact Our Scottsdale Arizona Child Custody Attorneys

Contact us today or call us at (480) 305-8300 to schedule your consultation with one of our Scottsdale and Phoenix Arizona Child Custody Attorneys regarding Arizona child custody laws, the divorce process or any other Arizona family law matter.