Arizona Child Custody: Helping You Advocate for Your Children

Your Advocates in Arizona Child Custody


Protecting Your Family’s Best Interests  

At Benjamin Legal, our child custody services are designed to protect your child’s best interests while advocating for your parental rights. Child custody battles can be complicated, stressful, and emotionally challenging for both parents and children. That’s why we take a sensitive but proactive approach to navigate through these complex legal issues.

Some of the legal services related to child custody include:

  • Legal representation in court: Including representing parents in child custody cases, including disputes related to joint or sole legal decision making, parenting time, and visitation.
  • Advice on custody arrangements: Legal guidance on various custody arrangements, including the advantages and pitfalls of different types of legal and physical custody arrangements.
  • Settlement: Proactively work with opposing counsel or the other party to resolve your matter in an effort to avoid the stress of court.
  • Mediation services: Provide legal counsel during mediation sessions. Mediation services can help parents resolve custody disputes without the expense of litigating. 
  • Modifications or enforcements of custody orders: Filing for a modification or enforcement of existing orders and vigorously litigating your case with the court.

Arizona Child Custody FAQs

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"How is child custody determined in Arizona?"

In Arizona, child custody is determined based on the best interests of the child. In general, there are two types of child custody: legal custody and physical custody (parenting time). Legal custody refers to the right to make important decisions about the child’s upbringing, including education, healthcare, and other major life decisions. Parenting time refers to the child’s physical location and the parenting time and holiday schedule.

When making a custody determination, Arizona courts take into consideration a number of factors such as the mental and physical well-being of all parties, the child’s relationship with the parents or other close family members, which parent is more likely to allow frequent and meaningful parenting time for the other parent, the geographical distance between the parties, and the absence (or presence) of domestic violence. After considering these factors, the court will make a determination of an award of either sole or joint legal decision making, and a parenting plan in the best interests of your minor child.

"What are the types of child custody arrangements in Arizona?"

Joint custody in Arizona can take a few different forms, including:

  • Joint legal custody and joint physical custody
  • Joint legal custody with one parent as the primary residential parent and the other parent having parenting time
  • Split custody – If there are more than two children in the family, the parents could get joint legal custody and separately have primary custody of one or more children

Here’s what each of those terms mean in Arizona:

  • Legal decision-making refers to the right to make important decisions about the child, such as education, healthcare, and religious upbringing.
  • Physical custody (parenting time) refers to where the child will live, and the time spent with each parent
  • Joint legal custody means that both parents share in decision-making related to the child’s welfare.
  • Joint physical custody means that the child spends nearly equal time with both parents.
"How does joint custody work in Arizona?"

Joint custody is generally thought of as the most beneficial, as it allows the child to maintain a strong relationship with both parents where feasible. Parents who are awarded joint custody are expected to work together cooperatively and seek agreement on matters regarding the child’s upbringing.

"What factors does the court consider for child custody decisions in Arizona?"

When making child custody decisions in Arizona, the court considers the best interests of the child. 

To determine the best interests of the child, the court considers multiple factors such as:

  • The wishes of the child’s parents as to custody.
  • The wishes of the child, if the child is of sufficient age and maturity to express their preferences.
  • The child’s relationship with each parent.
  • The child’s adjustment to home, school, and community.
  • The mental and physical health of all individuals involved, including any history of domestic violence or criminal activity.
  • The ability of each parent to provide for the child’s emotional, social, and physical needs.
  • The ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a meaningful relationship between the child and the other parent.
  • Any significant changes in circumstances that may impact the child’s well-being.
  • The child’s educational needs.
  • Any history of drug or alcohol abuse by either parent.
  • Any evidence of child abuse, neglect, or endangerment.

Ultimately, the court uses all of the available information to determine the custody arrangements that best serve the child’s best interests. The court will make a determination regarding custody depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the best interests of the child. 

"Can grandparents get visitation rights or custody in Arizona?"

In Arizona, grandparents’ rights can include visitation rights or custody under certain circumstances.

Visitation: Arizona law allows grandparents to seek visitation rights under specific circumstances, such as:

  • If one of the child’s parents is deceased
  • The child’s parents are divorced or separated
  • The child was born out of wedlock

However, grandparents must prove to the court that it is in the child’s best interests to have a relationship with them, and that denial of visitation would cause significant harm to the child. The court may award visitation rights to grandparents, depending upon the specific circumstances of the case and the best interests of the child.

Custody: Grandparents may also seek custody of their grandchildren under certain circumstances, such as:

  • If both the child’s parents are deceased
  • The child’s parents are unable to care for the child due to specific reasons
  • The parents voluntarily relinquish their parental rights
  • The child is endangered or neglected
  • The grandparents must prove to the court that it is in the child’s best interests to be in their custody

In both cases, the court will consider the best interests of the child when determining whether to grant visitation rights or custody to the grandparents.