Domestic violence brings potential harm to the home. It can hurt adults
or children. The harm can be emotional, mental, physical or economic.
Many are aware that it is a problem, but they still aren’t sure
how it affects legal decision making and parenting time in Arizona family court.
What is Domestic Violence?
Victims of domestic violence often don’t see themselves as victims
unless they can identify marks and/or scars to prove the abuse. Because
of this mindset, many do not seek the advantage of services that are designed
to help them. Under Arizona law, the following actions qualify as domestic
violence: sexual assault or physical injury to family/household member,
attempted sexual assault or physical injury to family/household member,
making a family/household member afraid that they are about to experience
physical injury, and patterns of abusive behavior serious enough to result
in the issuance of a protective order. Therefore, domestic violence can
take many forms: harassment, threats, physical assault, stalking, intimidation,
trespassing, property damage, unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping, photographing
or “watching” victims without their consent, etc. These acts
of domestic violence can occur face to face, in person but from a distance,
by phone, by text, by email, online, written, etc.
Who Can Obtain Protection from Domestic Violence Under Arizona Law?
According to Arizona law, family members and household members who are
targets of domestic violence are entitled to protection. This includes
spouses, former spouses, co-habiting couples or couples who used to live
together, people who have a shared child, situations in which one partner
is pregnant with the other’s child, individuals who are related
by marriage or blood, children, people who are or were at some point involved
in a romantic/sexual relationship. When attempting to resolve domestic
violence issues the judge must look at the nature and length of the relationship,
frequency of interaction (past and present) and the length of time since
the relationship ended (if it is over).
How Does Domestic Violence Affect Legal Decision Making and Parenting Time
for Your Child?
Two of the factors the judges consider when
determining legal decision making and parenting time for your child directly relate to domestic violence: 1) whether there has
been domestic violence or child abuse, and 2) whether either parent has
falsely reported neglect or child abuse. In the Arizona family court,
evidence of domestic violence may be seen as contrary to the best interest
of the child. That means that a parent who has committed domestic violence
is less likely to be assigned legal decision making and less likely to
obtain a majority of parenting time.
If you need assistance with your legal decision making and parenting time
case and there is domestic violence involved, please get in touch with
the experienced divorce lawyers at
Arizona Family Law Attorneys. We can assist you obtaining the proper information to provide for the
court’s examination from rulings of other courts to police and medical