Temporary Child Custody in Arizona

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A judge may award temporary child custody in Arizona pursuant to the Arizona Rules of Family Procedure. The process of obtaining temporary child custody in Arizona is to file a petition to establish custody of a child or a petition to modify a prior child custody order.

In Arizona, it could, in some cases, take as much as a year to have a trial on that Petition. To remedy that problem, the Arizona Supreme Court included a rule in the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure that allows a court to schedule a hearing at the beginning of the case to determine if a temporary child custody order should be issued prior to the court making a final child custody determination.

In most cases, the temporary orders hearing will take place within sixty days after the Motion for Temporary Orders is filed.  Although a final trial will typically take an entire day of trial, a temporary orders hearing may only last thirty minutes to one hour.

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However, there is case law that requires the court to honor your due process rights by providing you sufficient time to present all evidence that may affect the judge’s decision on your child custody case which would require the judge to give you more time, if necessary, for your temporary child custody hearing in Arizona.

Rules Governing Temporary Child Custody in Arizona

Rule 47 of the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure govern all motions for temporary child custody orders in Arizona. That Rule provides that any person seeking a temporary child custody order must file a verified motion that includes the legal and jurisdictional basis of the court’s authority to issue the temporary child custody order. Having the motion verified simply means it must be notarized and signed under the penalty of the state’s perjury laws.

The person filing the motion also must provide the judge with a proposed Order to Appear. Both the motion for temporary child custody and the Order to Appear must be served on the other parent, pursuant to Rule 47(D) of the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure.

The parent served with a Motion for Temporary Orders and Order to Appear is not required to file a Response to the Motion for Temporary Orders, pursuant to Rule 47(E).

The Rule also requires that you include the specific legal decision-making and parenting plan you are seeking in your Motion for Temporary Child Custody.

Required Hearings Governing Temporary Child Custody Orders in Arizona

Temporary Child Custody in Arizona.Rule 47(c)(1) requires a judge to schedule a Resolution Management Conference, unless the court finds good cause not to schedule the conference, upon receiving a motion for temporary custody of a child in Arizona. The purpose of the Resolution Management Conference is to determine if the parents can reach agreements concerning the temporary custody of their child.

The court will  schedule a temporary orders hearing on the issues at a later date if the parents do not reach an agreement regarding the temporary custody of their child. That temporary orders hearing must occur within 30 days (or 60 days if it is a pre-decree Motion for Temporary Orders) of the date the Resolution Management Conference occurs unless the court finds good cause to schedule the temporary orders hearing more than 30 days after the Resolution Management Conference.

However, a court can order a hearing sooner, pursuant to Rule 47(h) if a parent files believes it is necessary for the court to set a temporary child custody hearing sooner, the parent must include the words “Expedited Hearing Requested” on the motion for temporary child custody and must explain why an expedited hearing is necessary.

The court can make the decision to expedited a hearing before the other parent has a chance to file his or her response to the motion for temporary child custody in Arizona.

Meet and Confer About the Temporary Child Custody Issues Before a Hearing

Unless their is an Order of Protection in place that prevents the parents from having contact with each other, Rule 47(f) of the Arizona Rules of Family Law procedure requires you and the other parent to meet and discuss the temporary child custody issues at least three days prior to these hearings. The parents are also required to file a resolution statement, which simply contains each parent’s requests relating to temporary custody of their child, at least three days before the date set for the conference or hearing.

The parents are also required, by the same rule, to exchange their lists of witnesses and exhibits that each parent will use at the temporary child custody hearing. The list of witnesses must include the name, address, and telephone number of each witness, as well as what they are expected to testify about.

If you have questions about temporary child custody in Arizona, you should seriously consider contacting the attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC. Our Arizona child custody and family law attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience successfully representing clients in child custody and family law cases.

Our family law firm has earned numerous awards such as US News and World Reports Best Arizona Family Law Firm, US News and World Report Best Divorce Attorneys, “Best of the Valley” by Arizona Foothills readers, and “Best Arizona Divorce Law Firms” by North Scottsdale Magazine.

Call us today at (480)305-8300 or reach out to us through our appointment scheduling form to schedule your personalized consultation and turn your child custody or family law case around today.

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