Nearly all courts in Arizona base their child custody decisions on the best interests of the children involved. Many factors are used to determine which living situation caters to those interests, including parenting ability, consistency, the age of children and safety. When going into court, it's crucial for parents who want custody to show that they are involved in their children's lives and are willing to do what's necessary to promote their well-being.
Judges almost always look for ways to maintain a living arrangement that the child is used to. This includes going to the same school and spending time with the same friends. Toward that goal, judges also want both parents to be involved in the lives of children whenever possible. Even of one parent is granted sole custody, visitation arrangements will usually be made. The best interests of the child will be put above the sole desires of either parent.
Moving may or may not be considered in the best interest of a child. If a judge believes that one parent is moving with the motivation to deny custody or visitation rights to the other parent, they will not likely approve the move. When relocating, the parent should be able to prove that the child will benefit from access to better schools, a safer neighborhood and a more proactive family support network.
Child custody can be a very emotional and complicated issue during and after divorce. Whether parents are on good or bad terms, support and guidance from a lawyer may help them arrange custody in a manner that's in the best interest of the children involved. In many cases, parents can agree to arrangements independently, but requesting a judge to resolve certain differences might be required in particularly contentious situations.