State laws can vary when it comes to family law issues. This is why it is important that you pay attention to the law that applies to the state you are living in. Arizona, like the majority of states, has adopted the Uniform Child Custody Act (UCCA). This means that Arizona child custody laws are compatible with other states that have adopted the UCCA, and therefore, interstate child custody conflicts are minimized.
If you have recently gone through a separation or divorce and you have children with your ex, it is important that you understand the intricacies of the law when it comes to child custody. While the general rule is that the courts will make a ruling on what is deemed to be in the best interests of the child, there are more specific principles that you should be aware of.
Determining who can provide for the specific needs of the child
Every child has unique and specific needs. These depend on the child's age, maturity level and abilities. If, for example, a child has autism and does not cope well without a predictable structure, the child custody courts will likely use this information to establish a custody ruling that will help them thrive.
Maintaining parent-child relationships
In the vast majority of cases, children are better off when they can maintain the relationship they have with both of their parents. This means that if both parents want to gain joint custody, it is likely that the courts will grant this unless there is a good reason not to.
Evaluating the potential risks of a parent
If accusations have been made against one parent, these will be investigated by the child custody courts. For example, if one parent has a history of drug use or domestic violence, it might be concluded that they pose a risk to their child and should not be able to gain custody.
If you want to successfully gain custody of your child, it is important that you take early action so that your situation can be fully assessed. By planning ahead, you will have the best possible chance of being successful.