Your kids will always be some of the most important people in your life, and, like all parents, you want what is best for your children. In Arizona, courts are required to make all custody, parenting time and legal-decision making determinations in accordance with the best interest of the child. (A.R.S. § 25-403). That includes an express public policy which favors “substantial, frequent, meaningful and continuing parenting time with both parents” in most cases. (A.R.S. § 25-403).
A custody determination depends on the specific circumstances of each case. The following are factors that courts will consider to determine the best interest of the child:
- The past, present and potential future relationship between the parent and the child.
- The interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child’s parent or parents, the child’s siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest.
- The child’s adjustment to home, school, and community.
- If the child is of suitable age and maturity, the wishes of the child as to legal decision-making and parenting time.
- The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.
- Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent, meaningful and continuing contact with the other parent.
- Whether one parent intentionally misled the court to cause an unnecessary delay, to increase the cost of litigation or to persuade the court to give a legal decision-making or a parenting time preference to that parent.
- Whether there has been domestic violence or child abuse.
The nature and extent of coercion or duress used by a parent in obtaining an agreement regarding legal decision-making or parenting time.
- Whether either parent was convicted of an act of false reporting of child abuse or neglect.
There are two forms of custody – legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is the power to make decisions on behalf of the child, including educational, medical, and spiritual decisions. Physical custody is the determination of parenting time. In many cases, both legal custody and physical custody are shared. In others, one parent may have sole legal custody, but the parents share physical custody. And in some situations, one parent has sole legal and physical custody.
The family law attorneys at AWD LAW® understand the importance of a fair result in cases regarding child custody and parenting time. We will work closely with you to understand the unique facts of your case, and we will advocate vigorously on your behalf. Our team provides you with the personalized attention that a matter of this importance requires.
We are Northern Arizona’s premier law firm. If you need to speak with a Northern Arizona Lawyer for any reason, contact us today at (928) 774-1478!
We can help you evaluate the circumstances you are dealing with to determine your best options for the most successful outcome possible.