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FAQ - Legal Decision Making and Parenting Time (Custody)

Arizona Civil Legal Needs Community Survey

Civil legal organizations in Arizona are seeking your input to increase their ability to meet the civil legal needs of Arizona's lower income residents. Please complete this survey to assist in improving civil legal services in Arizona.

Encuesta de Necesidades Legales Civiles de Arizona

Las organizaciones legales civiles en Arizona buscan su opinión para aumentar su capacidad de satisfacer las necesidades legales civiles de los residentes de bajos ingresos de Arizona. Por favor complete esta encuesta para ayudar a mejorar los servicios legales civiles en Arizona.

What does the judge consider when determining legal decision making and parenting time?

Arizona has statutes that have specific factors that the judge follows when deciding the best interests of the children. The court shall determine legal decision making, either originally (for the first time) or on petition for modification, in accordance with the best interests of the child. The court shall consider all relevant factors, including:

•    The past, present and potential future relationship between the parent and the child.
•    The interaction and interrelationship of the child with the parent or parents, the siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the best interests of the child.
•    The adjustment to home, school and community by the child.
•    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. This paragraph does not apply if the court determines that a parent is acting in good faith to protect the child from witnessing an act of domestic violence or being a victim of domestic violence or child abuse.
•    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 pursuant to A.R.S. § 25-403.03.
•    The nature and extent of coercion or duress used by a parent in obtaining an agreement regarding legal decision making or parenting time.
•    Whether a parent has complied with chapter 3, article 5 of this title.
•    Whether either parent was convicted of an act of false reporting of child abuse or neglect under A.R.S. § 13-2907.02.
•    Legal decision making; best interests of the child A.R.S. § 25-403


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