questions & answers

Question: Please describe what the courts look at for "best Interest for the child". Do they take into account what the child(ren) want?


The phrase "best interests of the child" is applied in a number of different contexts throughout the Arizona domestic relations code. Your question does not indicate which of those contexts you are interested in. On the assumption that you are talking about an award of custody, I would direct your attention to A.R.S. § 25-403.  

As you will see from this law, the court must consider all relevant factors, including 10 that are specified in the statute. In addition to these basic factors, the court will always consider extremely important issues such as domestic violence, child neglect, substance abuse, and the criminal conduct of either or both parents. The child's wishes are indeed important, and are even listed as one of the 10 factors for the judge's consideration. This does not mean that the child gets to 'choose' where he or she will live, but his or her opinion will definitely be considered along with the other factors - especially if it is a child of meaningful age and maturity, i.e., a teenager.


On 10/2/07
Stephen said
I am 17, and my girlfriend is 17. We had out child pretty early and she is still in custody of her mother of course. Her mother denies my mother, sister and I visitation rights. Being a minor, would I have visitation rights?

On 8/25/07
Linda said
My son and his girlfriend have a daughter they have recently spit and she will not return his requests on seeing his daughter what can he do?

On 5/21/07
Deena said
Is there an age where the child would have a say so as to visition?

On 5/5/07
Denise said
I was 16 when I had my child mind you the father was 22. He said he wanted nothing to do with the baby and now 5 years later he is taking me to court to get full custody. His parents paid his back child support.Can he do that??

On 1/28/07
marisela said
I am divorce a few years ago. My ex husband say that I have to let him claim my daughter in the taxes this year but he claim my son already.He say he has the right because I have a child in another relationship that I had. I support my son by myself.

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