Arizona Divorce Child Custody
DUE TO COVID-19 AND OUR NEED TO ENSURE THE HEALTH OF OUR CLIENTS, ALL INITIAL CLIENT CONSULTATIONS WILL BE CONDUCTED BY PHONE. YOU MAY CALL US AT (480)305-8300 TO SCHEDULE A TELEPHONE CALL WITH ONE OF OUR EXPERIENCED FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYS.
Divorce in Arizona: Child Custody
An Arizona court must consider the best interests of the children when evaluating child custody cases before rendering a decision regarding how parents will share parenting time with their children.
Neither parent has superior child custody rights to their children until such time the judge issued orders setting forth both their respective rights to make decisions for their children, as well as the amount of time each parent may spend with their children.
The court is strictly prohibited from considering the sex of either parent as a factor in the court’s child custody decision.
When determining what is in a child’s best interests in a divorce, the court will consider several factors including, but not limited to, the health and safety of the children and the parenting schedule that will allow the children to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents.
Health and Safety of the Children
Arizona child custody statutes and decisions from the Arizona Court of Appeals require a judge to give primary importance to issues that affect a child’s health and safety. The law in Arizona prohibits judges from granting custody or unsupervised parenting time to a parent who has murdered the other parent or who was convicted in a criminal case of physically or sexually abusing the child unless that parent overcomes the legal presumption that unsupervised parenting time is in the child’s best interests.
A judge in an Arizona divorce case may also restrict a parent’s access to his or her child if that parent, even without a criminal conviction, has been found by the court to have abused the child or the child’s other parent.
A parent who abuses illegal drugs, prescription drugs, or alcohol may also have their parenting time-restricted. The court may, in such cases, order a parent to undergo random drug or alcohol testing through TASC.
Wishes of the Children
The Arizona child custody statutes require a court to consider the wishes of the children as to who makes the major decisions affecting their lives, as well as the amount of time the children want to spend with each parent.
An Arizona judge, however, is not obliged to honor the wishes of the children, particularly if they are not old enough to intelligently decide with whom they wish to spend their time or if the children’s stated wishes are the result of a nefarious reason, such as the other parent has intentionally damaged the children’s relationship with the other parent or the children’s wishes are motivated by something that is not in their best interests, such as when a child wishes to spend time with one parent over the other because that parent does not hold them to any responsibilities.
Joint Legal Decision Making
Another factor an Arizona court must consider is whether one parent is more likely to encourage frequent and continuing contact with the other parent. Almost all judges believe it is damaging to a child if he or she does not maintain regular and continuing contact with the other parent and will favor granting primary physical custody to a parent who does not try to interfere with the child’s relationship with the other parent.
A court will look very unfavorably on a parent who, for example, makes a false allegation of child abuse against the other parent to restrict the other parent’s parenting time with the child.
Stability is Important
A divorce is a very destabilizing event for parents and children. Most experts agree to maintain as much stability for the children as possible.
Although there will necessarily be a change in the child’s schedule, almost all judges want to see the parents cooperating to minimize those changes, including where the child attends school.
What Are Your Options
The term “child custody” actually relates to two separate and distinct issues. One such issue is whether one or both parents are entitled to enforceable input regarding the major decisions affecting the child, such as where the children attend school, the medical care they receive, and the extracurricular activities they are allowed to enjoy. The other issue is how much parenting time the children will spend with each parent.
We have found it a best divorce practice first to seek to resolve the child custody issues in an Arizona divorce case too, literally, get the children out of the middle of the dispute and establish their stability in the event the parents become embroiled in bitter litigation over the financial issues in the case.
This strategy is designed to prevent either parent from using the children as pawns against the other parent in an attempt to get the other parent to agree with his or her position on those disputes financial issues.
If you have questions about divorce and child custody in Arizona, you should seriously consider contacting the attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC. Our Arizona divorce and family law attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience successfully representing clients in divorce 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 divorce or family law case around today.
Arizona Family Law Attorneys in Scottsdale and Tucson Arizona
More Articles About Divorce in Arizona
- The advantage of Filing Divorce First in Arizona
- Are Prenuptial Agreements Enforceable in Arizona
- Arizona Divorce
- Arizona Divorce Attorney Reviews
- Arizona Divorce Debt
- Arizona Divorce Forms
- Arizona Divorce Laws
- Arizona Divorce Laws Alimony
- Arizona Divorce Laws and Statutes
- Arizona Divorce Laws on Adultery
- Arizona Divorce Papers
- Arizona Divorce Practice
- Arizona Divorce Process
- Arizona Divorce Records Search
- Arizona Marriage Laws
- Asset and Property Search in an Arizona Divorce
- Arizona Divorce When You Can’t Find Your Spouse
- Change to Maiden Name After Divorce in Arizona
- Changing Orders in an Arizona Divorce Decree
- Children and Divorce in Arizona
- College Expenses After Divorce in Arizona
- Complex Divorce Cases in Arizona
- Conciliation Court Services in Arizona
- Consent Required for Marriage of Minors in Arizona
- Considering the Children during a Divorce in Arizona
- Convert to a Covenant Marriage in Arizona
- Coping With Divorce in Arizona
- Court Services to Save a Marriage in Arizona
- Custody of the Family Pet in a Divorce in Arizona
- Dissolution of Marriage in Arizona
- Divorce After Legal Separation in Arizona
- Divorce and Children in Arizona
- Divorce Arizona
- Divorce Case is on the Inactive Calendar in Arizona
- Divorce Court Jurisdiction in Arizona
- Divorce in Arizona Without Children
- Divorce Procedures in Arizona
- Divorce Records in Arizona
- Divorce Statistics in Arizona
- Divorce Support Groups in Arizona
- Domestic Violence and Divorce in Arizona
- Effect of Adultery on an Arizona Divorce
- Effects of Divorce on Children in Arizona
- Enforceable Arizona Prenuptial Agreements
- Failure to Include an Issue in an Arizona Divorce
- Filing for Divorce in Arizona
- Filing for Divorce to Receive Alimony in Arizona
- Guide to Divorce for Men in Arizona
- High Asset Divorce in Arizona
- High Conflict Divorce in Arizona
- High Net Worth Divorce Arizona
- How is a Divorce Finalized in Arizona
- How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take in Arizona
- How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce in Arizona
- How Long Does it Take to Get Divorced in Arizona
- How Long Does Uncontested Divorce Take in Arizona
- How Long To Be Separated Before Divorce in Arizona
- How long to get Temporary Orders in Arizona
- How Much Does it Cost to Get a Divorce in Arizona
- How to Appeal a Divorce Decree in Arizona
- How To Find Good Divorce Attorney in Arizona
- How to Start a Divorce in Arizona
- Learn About Uncontested Divorce in Arizona
- Legally Separated File Divorce in Arizona
- Marital Settlement Agreement in Arizona
- The merger of the Settlement Agreement in Arizona
- Military Divorce Laws in Arizona
- Misled Into Signing Divorce Settlement in Arizona
- Modifying a Divorce Decree in Arizona
- No Contest Divorce in Arizona
- No-Fault Divorce in Arizona
- Order to Pay Spouses Attorney Fees in Arizona
- Parenting Class During a Divorce in Arizona
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in Arizona
- Protect Children in a Divorce in Arizona
- Quick Divorce in Arizona
- Reasons for Divorce in Arizona
- Reasons to File for Divorce in Arizona
- Represent Yourself in Arizona Divorce Case
- Same-Sex Divorce in Arizona
- Sealing Court Records in an Arizona Divorce
- Sell Home During Divorce in Arizona
- Selling Property During a Divorce in Arizona
- Served With Divorce Papers in Arizona
- Serving Divorce Papers by Publication in Arizona
- Should I Keep the House in a Divorce in Arizona
- Social Media Evidence in Divorce in Arizona
- Stop an Arizona Divorce
- Stop an Arizona Divorce if You Change Your Mind
- What Happens at a Resolution Management Conference in Arizona
- What Happens If the Divorce Case Goes to Trial in Arizona
- What Happens Temporary Orders Hearing in Arizona
- What is a Covenant Marriage in Arizona
- What is a Default Divorce in Arizona
- What is a Family Law Master in an Arizona Divorce Case
- What is a Preliminary Injunction in an Arizona Divorce
- What is a Temporary Orders Hearing in Arizona
- What is the Divorce Process in Arizona
- What Reasons Do I Need to Obtain a Divorce in a Covenant Marriage in Arizona
- What to do When Served with Divorce Papers in Arizona
- When Can I File For Divorce in Arizona
- Five Questions to Ask Before You Sign Divorce Papers in Arizona
Chris Hildebrand wrote the information on this page about child custody decisions to ensure everyone has access to information about child custody laws in Arizona. Chris is a divorce and child custody attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a divorce should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and actually caring about what his clients are going through in a divorce and child custody case.