Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: Can a 13 year request not to stay with one parent 50% time and that be court ordered upon child’s request even if that parent is a fit parent? No current court order in place as parents have always agreed on time and money amongst themselves.

Answer: The child can make such a request but there is no guarantee that it will be honored by family court.  Arizona law determines child custody (now called legal decision-making) and parenting time for each parent based on the best interests of the child/  A.R.S. section 25-403.  There is no specific age when the court is required to consider the child's wishes.  The courts have learned over the years that children and teens are often unduly influenced by one parent to request a change in custody.   Therefore, unless there are compelling reasons for the child to want to live exclusively with one parent over the other, the court may not be disposed to take the child's preference into account.

QUESTIONS

  • Can a 13 year request not to stay with one parent 50% time and that be court ordered upon child’s request even if that parent is a fit parent? No current court order in place as parents have always agreed on time and money amongst themselves.

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