By Jessica M. Cotter, Esq.
In Arizona, particularly in the Phoenix Metropolitan area, the Family Court looks at several factors when determining Sole or Joint Legal Decision Making (Custody) and Parenting time.
Those factors are as follows:
1. The past, present, and potential future relationships between parent and child;
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. The past present and future abilities of the parents to cooperate in making decisions regarding the child(ren);
4. Is it logistically possible?;
5. If one or both parents was charged with false reporting of child abuse or neglect;
6. The are the wishes of the child(ren) once they are a suitable age?;
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. Whether or not one parent miss lead the court, caused unreasonable delay or caused an increase of legal fees to have the court award that parent more parenting time or legal decision making;
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, the judge must make specific findings based on the above to justify the ruling.
See our website at www.jessicacotterlaw.com for further information or to request an appointment.
The Law Firm of Jessica M. Cotter, P.L.L.C.
18301 North 79th avenue
Glendale, Arizona 85308
Source: A.R.S. 25-403.01 and 25-403