What is Arizona Custody Public Policy?

A.R.S. § 25-103(A) requires judges to apply the custody provision in a way that promotes strong families and strong family values. A.R.S § 25-103(B) says that, absent evidence to the contrary, it is in the child’s best interest for both parents to participate in legal decision-making and for each parent to have substantial, frequent, meaningful, and continuing parenting time with both parents. This policy is significant because best interests of the child is the standard Courts use to determine legal decision-making and parenting time. In Woyton v. Ward, the Arizona Court of Appeals found this public policy means there is a rebuttable presumption that parenting time should be equal, but in Gonzalez-Gunter v. Gunter, the Court also found that courts are not required to order equal parenting time just because both parents can safely watch the child if equal parenting time is not in the child’s best interests.

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