Friday, June 15, 2012

How does the court determine Custody in the State of Arizona

The Court looks at several factors when determining Sole or Joint Custody.  They are as follows:

1. Whether or not the parents can agree on joint custody
2. If there is no agreement, why. Is it reasonable or is it influenced by another issue that does not involve the best interest if the child(ren).
3. Can the parents cooperate in making decisions regarding the child(ren)
4. Is it logistically possible?
5. What do the parents want?
6. The are the wishes of the child(ren)?
7. The child's relationship with other family members or other people that may affect by the child's best interest.
8. Child's adjustment to home, community and school.
9. The health of  parties, this includes mental health.
10. Who will allow frequent and  meaningful contact.
11. Who has been the primary caregiver.
12. Has there been any coercion of duress in obtaining an agreement.
13. Have the parties taken the parenting class.
14. Has there been domestic violence or child abuse as defined in 25-403.03.

When the court rules on custody, they have to make specific findings based on the above to justify their ruling.

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Source: A.R.S. 25-403.01 and 25-403

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