If domestic violence is an issue in a Custody case in Arizona, it is very likely that the violator may not be allowed to have joint custody of the minor child(ren) at issue. It is important to look at the appropriate statute. Under §25-403.03, joint custody can't be awarded if the Court finds a significant existence of domestic violence or a significant history of domestic violence. The type of acts the Court construes as applicable here include the following:
1. Causing a sexual assault
2. Attempting a sexual assault
3. Placing a person in apprehension of imminent serious physical injury.
4. Engage in a pattern of behavior for which a court may issue an ex parte order to protect the other parent.
Ultimately, in these cases, the Court is trying to look after the best interests of the children. The Court wants to ensure that a child is not endangered. If the court finds that an act of domestic violence has been committed, there are certain safeguards put in place to protect the child. For example, the Court may order no overnights, or no unsupervised visits. The Court may also order the individual to complete certain courses.
There are also mitigating factors that the Court looks at, such as the individual's most recent history of violence, and whether the individual has completed the proper courses. If you have a case with respect to domestic violence, these cases are very fact sensitive, it is probably a wise decision to seek help from local counsel.