How to Get Custody of a Child in Arizona

If you have divorced, or are a grandparent or a loved one who is looking to get custody of a child in Arizona, there are some important things you need to know in order to make it successful. Read through these steps so you better understand the process, and then contact us for a free consultation to help you better understand your rights in your specific case. Your lawyer will help you prepare paperwork, and help you to avoid the costly and emotionally difficult mistakes common in a custody case.

Child Custody in Arizona

Arizona courts can determine what rights a parent or guardian can have in regards to a child in order to act in the child’s best interest. These rights are called Parenting Time, Decision-making, and Child Support. Parenting Time includes the time a parent or guardian have access to the child(ren). It’s important to note that Sole Custody of a child in Arizona doesn’t mean that the other parent won’t see the child, but rather won’t have decision-making rights.

Decision-making can include those regarding medical care, housing and education in order to keep kids safe physically, emotionally and mentally. Child Support may also be awarded to the custodial parent to help with the costs of raising the child.

Who Can Get Custody of a Child?

In Arizona, you must establish paternity if you weren’t married when the child was born if you want to file for sole custody as a father. Biological parents are always given first priority in child custody cases.

If a child is 13 or under, an adult must petition the courts for custody. This adult must have a close relationship or family tie and a significant interest in the welfare of the child. Guardianship is most often granted to family first, particularly if they have cared for the child in the last 6 months.

Guardians may be requested through the Will of the child’s parents, or can be petitioned if the child’s parent has become deceased or missing for a significant amount of time, or becomes unable to adequately care for the child for various reasons.

Once a child is age 14 in Arizona, they are able to request their own guardian but the courts must still determine it to be a safe living situation.


Simon Law group is here to help with a free consultation to determine if you have a case and how to best proceed. Serving the Greater Phoenix area with Family Law concerns, Simon Law can be reached anytime day or night at 480-745-2450.