Domestic Violence and Parenting Time in Arizona
In the state of Arizona, when two parents cannot agree on parenting time, the court requires them to come up with a plan to submit to the courts for review. From these plans, the court will come up with a plan for both parents to abide by. The court will not favor one parent’s plan over another based on the gender of the parent or the child. The requirements of a parenting plan are laid out in A.R.S. § 25-403.02.
Domestic Violence Changes Parenting Time
When domestic violence is a factor within a case involving parenting time, it becomes the court’s top priority to protect the victimized parent and child from further harm. The parent who commits violent acts will be denied parenting time until it can be proven to the judge that they won’t endanger the child or impair their emotional development. Even if the court agrees to the parenting time, it has to protect the other parent and child from danger.
The court can:
- Order the parenting time to take place in a protected setting, such as a police station lobby
- Order a state agency to be responsible for supervising the parenting time
- Allow for another family member or household member supervise the parenting time under specific conditions
- Provide the order that the abusive parent must abstain from using or possessing drugs or alcohol during parenting time and 24 hours preceding that time
- Ban any overnight visitation
- Require the payment of a bond to ensure the child’s safe return
- Require the abusive parent to pay for any of the costs that may be associated with the parenting time
- Establish any other conditions deemed necessary to ensure safety
Factors Considered To Determine Changes For Accused Parent
The court is willing to hear the accused parent rebuttal when the court presumes that parenting time is not in the best interest of the child. These are the types of information that the court will consider when hearing parenting time cases with domestic violence as a factor:
- The parent needs to prove that being awarded legal-making custody (in any form) is in the best interest of the child
- If the parent has completed a batterer’s prevention program successfully
- If the parent has completed a program for drug or alcohol abuse successfully if the court finds that counseling is necessary
- Whether the parent has completed a parenting class, as deemed necessary by the court
- The status of probation, parole, or community supervision or if an active protective order restrains the parent
- If there have been any further acts of violence committed by the parent
Why You Need An Arizona Family Law Attorney
The most critical factor in any Arizona family court proceeding is the interest of the child. Divorce and child custody can be messy situations, often driven by the intent to hurt the other party for whatever reason caused the separation. Unfortunately, this is not the child’s fault, but they fall in the middle of the mess.
An Arizona family law attorney can help you with the aspects of your specific case. If you have been a victim of domestic violence, you can request that special circumstances be made when your child visits the other parent. You don’t have to handle court appearances alone, call upon the legal professionals of an Arizona family law firm to help you today.