Although your Arizona child custody orders may have been in place for a long time, as children age (especially when they reach the teen years) they sometimes want to try living with the non-custodial parent. This can be an emotional and confusing time for parents, as it may seem like rebellion or rejection, and it can stir up old feelings about the divorce – not to mention reopen the legal process.
Many states allow children to choose which parent they live with, but Arizona is not one of those states. Although the judge may listen to a child's wishes and take those wishes into account, the decisions will still ultimately be based on what is in the best interest of the child. The judge may interview the child, talk to the parents about their perceptions of what the child wants, and look at how the custody modification would affect the child's wellbeing and relationship with both parents. Although the child's desire to live with the other parent may be what started the process, that desire is not the only deciding factor.
If your child wants to live with the non-custodial parent in Arizona, speak with a qualified Phoenix family law attorney today at 1-888-929-5292. We look forward to speaking with you about your situation in a completely free and confidential consultation. If you you'd like to learn more about who we are and what we do, take a look at our book, Arizona Family Law - How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.