Chandler, AZ asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Arizona

Q: What’s the chance I get full custody in arizona? Left Ohio with my child to be close to my family for more support.

My child was born in Ohio she is now 5 months and we’ve been in arizona for a month. It was mutual for us to come to my home state and come back to Ohio but now I don’t want to come back. I have no support or anyone in Ohio besides father side family. I’d like to stay in arizona. We co parent well and he’s able to talk and see her whenever he wants but I’m more stable in az surrounding myself with my family. I’m afraid he will take me to court and I’ll be stuck living in Ohio away from my family and friends. Basically I’m asking what’s the chances I can stay in arizona?

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Arizona, as in other states, child custody decisions are primarily based on the best interests of the child. The fact that you moved to Arizona with the mutual agreement of the child's father and for the purpose of being closer to your family support system can be an important factor in your favor.

However, if the child's father decides to pursue legal action, the court will consider several factors, including the child's relationship with both parents, the child's adjustment to the new environment, and the reasons for relocating. The fact that you are co-parenting well and that the father has access to the child will also be taken into account.

It's important to note that since the child has lived in Ohio for the majority of her life, Ohio may still have jurisdiction over the custody case, depending on specific state laws and the length of time the child has been in Arizona.

If the father initiates legal action, the court might require a detailed plan showing how you intend to facilitate a relationship between the child and her father despite the distance.

You should also consider seeking legal counsel to understand your rights and obligations fully. An attorney can provide guidance specific to your situation, considering both Arizona and Ohio laws.

Remember, every case is unique, and the outcome will depend on various factors specific to your situation. The court's primary concern will be the welfare and best interests of the child in making any custody decisions.

Rich J. Peters
Rich J. Peters
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: If the child has not lived in Arizona for the greater part of the last 6 months, then Arizona does not have “home state jurisdiction”. Currently, the matter would LIKELY have to be pursued in Ohio. I WOULD NEED TO KNOW MORE to determine if there are other theories that would allow Arizona jurisdiction over the child custody matter.

If you are able to litigate in Arizona, one of the two parents would likely be awarded primary parent status with the other parent having a long-distance parenting plan due to the distance between you. Which parent that is would be decided by the Court using factors to determine what is in the child’s best interests. With respect to which state has jurisdiction, I would advise contacting a family lawyer in Arizona such as myself, who gives free consultations.

Is there any chance father wold be willing to agree? Under Arizona law, if no agreements can be reached, the Court will determine whether to allow relocation in accordance with the child's overall best interests. The burden of proving what is in the child's best interests is on the relocating parent. This can be a tough burden, but not impossible.

A qualified and experienced family law attorney can of course assist you in considering your options and then getting where you need to be. Most of us offer free, 1/2 hour consultations, in which your matter can be discussed in detail. That would be a great opportunity to discuss the specifics of your matter and develop a plan. I would encourage you to quickly schedule this free consultation.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.