Written by attorney Ryan Michael Reppucci

Arizona: Sole vs. Joint Custody

In Arizona, Sole and Joint Custody is determined by A.R.S. 25-403.01 among other statutory sections.

In awarding child custody, the court may order sole custody or joint custody. It should be noted that the Court does not create a presumption in favor of one custody arrangement over another. The court in determining custody shall not prefer a parent as custodian because of that parent's sex.

The court may issue an order for joint custody over the objection of one of the parents if the court makes specific written findings of why the order is in the child's best interests. In determining whether joint custody is in the child's best interests, the court shall consider the factors prescribed in section 25-403, subsection A and all of the following:

1. The agreement or lack of an agreement by the parents regarding joint custody.

2. Whether a parent's lack of agreement is unreasonable or is influenced by an issue not related to the best interests of the child.

3. The past, present and future abilities of the parents to cooperate in decision-making about the child to the extent required by the order of joint custody.

4. Whether the joint custody arrangement is logistically possible

Again, the above factors are those that the court must look to in addition to other relevant factors. For a further determination of what other factors are relevant to the court awarding joint custody, please speak with an experienced Arizona family law attorney that can guide you through the provisions of A.R.S. 24-403.

In the alternative, it must be noted that the court may issue an order for joint custody of a child if both parents agree and submit a written parenting plan and the court finds such an order is in the best interests of the child. The court may order joint legal custody without ordering joint physical custody.

For more detailed explanation of this or any other Arizona family law matter, please contact the experienced Arizona Family Law Attorneys at the Law Firm of Ariano & Reppucci, PLLC.

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