Legal Decision-Making

Helping You Understand Your Rights

Making decisions about children is often the most difficult part of a divorce. In general, the court leans toward equal parenting time and joint legal decisionmaking arrangements. In contested situations where a judge must issue a ruling, however, Arizona statute 25-403 requires the judges to consider every one of the following points to determine the best interests of the child:

1. The past, present and potential future relationship between the parent and the child.

2. The interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child’s parent or parents, the child’s siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest.

3. The child’s adjustment to home, school and community.

4. If the child is of suitable age and maturity, the wishes of the child as to legal decision-making and parenting time.

5. The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Whether there has been domestic violence or child abuse pursuant to section 25-403.03.

9. The nature and extent of coercion or duress used by a parent in obtaining an agreement regarding legal decision-making or parenting time.

10. Whether a parent has complied with chapter 3, article 5 of this title.

11. Whether either parent was convicted of an act of false reporting of child abuse or neglect under section 13-2907.02.

Speak With A Lawyer You Can Trust

Whether you’re contemplating divorce, separation or dividing parenting time when you’re not married, you need to know your rights. At [nap_names id=”FIRM-NAME-1″], we’ll sit down and discuss your situation and go over all of your options so you can make an informed decision. Call our firm at [nap_phone id=”LOCAL-CT-NUMBER-3″] or send us an email to get started today.