The answer to this question is yes, as long as certain conditions of A.R.S. 25-1031 are met. If you do not meet the requirements as outlined by A.R.S. 25-1031, then you must either wait until such time that at least one of the conditions specified therein are met or in the alternative, you must commence your custody action in a different State that has jurisdiction over your matter (generally the State of previous domicile).
According to A.R.S. 25-1031, Arizona courts have jurisdiction to make initial child custody determinations only if any one of the following is true:
1. This state is the home state of the child on the date of the commencement of the proceeding, or was the home state of the child within six months before the commencement of the proceeding and the child is absent from this state but a parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in this state.
2. A court of another state does not have jurisdiction under paragraph 1 or a court of the home state of the child has declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that this state is the more appropriate forum under section 25-1037 or 25-1038 and both of the following are true:
(a) The child and the child's parents, or the child and at least one parent or a person acting as a parent, have a significant connection with this state other than mere physical presence.
(b) Substantial evidence is available in this state concerning the child's care, protection, training and personal relationships.
3. All courts having jurisdiction under paragraph 1 or 2 have declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that a court of this state is the more appropriate forum to determine the custody of the child under section 25-1037 or 25-1038.
4. A court of any other state would not have jurisdiction under the criteria specified in paragraph 1, 2 or 3.
As one can see from reading the rule, it is not always exactly clearwhether Arizona is the proper forum to initiate a Child Custody action. It is always suggested that parties that recently relocated to Arizona contact an experienced family law attorney prior to initiating their desired Custody action.
The experienced attorneys at the premier Arizona family law firm of Arizona and Reppucci, PLLC can assist those in determining the proper forum to initiate a Child Custody action. Moreover, Ariano & Reppucci, PLLC provides affordable and aggressive representation in a myriad of other family law matters.
To speak with one of our trusted attorneys today, contact us at 602-515-0841.