Custody in Arizona is determined according to the best interest of the child. A custody arrangement may provide for either sole or joint custody. The custody award may be based either on provisions contained in an original filing or on a petition for a modified custody order.

What factors are used in determining custody?

The following factors provide courts with guidelines during hearings for child custody:
• The child’s level of mental and physical development, as well as their adjustment to home and community standards
• Whether one parent has been relatively more active in providing primary care
• Whether one parent will be better able to promote contact between the child and the non-custodial parent
• The child’s wishes regarding residential arrangements, provided that the child is of a sufficient level of maturity to understand the consequences of their decisions
• Whether there have been any verified reports of abuse or neglect

Are there any unique provisions contained in Arizona child custody laws?

Arizona law also provides protection for the parents when determining child custody. A court of law will consider whether either parent was convicted of a crime involving a false report of abuse or neglect. The court will also make an inquiry as to whether either parent was coerced into obtaining a custody order.

Should I contact an Arizona lawyer regarding my child custody issues?

After the court has decided upon the custody order, the terms of the agreement will be binding on both parties, and violations can result in civil or criminal sanctions or a modified custody order. For this reason, the services of an Arizona lawyer are indispensable in obtaining a custody order that best meets the needs of all persons involved. A Arizona child custody lawyer will be able to help you craft an order that both complies with the law and serves the child’s best interest.