The phrase, best interests of the child, shows up repeatedly when couples with children decide to divorce. Child custody in Arizona hinges on a number of factors, but primarily on what is best for the children. A family court judge will make that decision taking that into consideration — along with other things — if the parents can’t iron out custody issues on their own.
A family court judge in Arizona is most certain to look at the following markers in regard to custody. They include the wishes of the children and of the parents; whether there is a history of violence in the home; whether parents were the primary caregivers of the children; the children’s relationship with each parent; how willing each parent is to have a positive relationship with the other parent and children’s adjustments to home, school and community life. In addition, a judge may also look at whether either parent has any criminal convictions of any kind.
A judge has the ability to grant either sole or joint custody. In awarding joint custody, a judge will look at a number of things. They include whether both parents agree to joint custody, cooperation between parents when co-parenting their children, and whether he or she believes joint custody would be in the best interests of the children.
There are many issues embroiled with child custody in Arizona. A lawyer is the best person to help a client to sort through some of the more confusing aspects of custody. A lawyer may also be able to best explain exactly what is the best interests of the children means in terms of custody issues.