Arizona: Family Law

  1. Family Law - Overview

    The following sections are included because it may often be the case that a victim of an online privacy invasion has recently divorced the perpetrator spouse, or is considering a divorce or possibly a separation. Although evidence of misconduct is not appropriate in a divorce proceeding, the publication of sex photos/videos may well be considered in child custody proceedings, and considerations of domestic violence are appropriate when determining spousal support.

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  2. Divorce

    Arizona is a no-fault state, which means that neither spouse needs to give a reason for the divorce. Only one party needs to assert that he or she believes the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” If the parties choose to have a "covenant marriage" at the time of their marriage or later convert their marriage to a covenant marriage, the party seeking the divorce must prove grounds found in Ariz. Rev.Stat. § 25-903.

    Due to Arizona’s “no fault” policy, the divorce statutes were not searched for factually relevant cases.

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  3. Child Custody

    1. Introduction

      If the victim of the nonconsensual online publication of intimate photos is involved in a child custody dispute, he or she may use evidence of this type of misconduct to establish abuse or harassment by his or her former spouse or lover. When determining child custody, the court’s primary consideration is to decide what is in the “best interest of the child.” A.R.S. § 25-403.

    2. Text of Statute

      1) Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 25-403

      1. A. The court shall determine legal decision-making and parenting time, either originally or on petition for modification, in accordance with the best interests of the child. The court shall consider all factors that are relevant to the child's physical and emotional well-being, including:

        B. In a contested legal decision-making or parenting time case, the court shall make specific findings on the record about all relevant factors and the reasons for which the decision is in the best interests of the child.

        1. 1. The past, present and potential future relationship between the parent and the child.

          2. The interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child's parent or parents, the child's siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interest.

          3. The child's adjustment to home, school and community.

          4. If the child is of suitable age and maturity, the wishes of the child as to legal decision-making and parenting time.

          5. The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.

          6. Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent, meaningful and continuing contact with the other parent. This paragraph does not apply if the court determines that a parent is acting in good faith to protect the child from witnessing an act of domestic violence or being a victim of domestic violence or child abuse.

          7. Whether one parent intentionally misled the court to cause an unnecessary delay, to increase the cost of litigation or to persuade the court to give a legal decision-making or a parenting time preference to that parent.

          8. Whether there has been domestic violence or child abuse pursuant to § 25-403.03.

          9. The nature and extent of coercion or duress used by a parent in obtaining an agreement regarding legal decision-making or parenting time.

          10. Whether a parent has complied with chapter 3, article 5 of this title.

          11. Whether either parent was convicted of an act of false reporting of child abuse or neglect under § 13-2907.02.

    3. Cases

      A search of Arizona cases citing these statutes did not reveal any cases that are factually relevant or analogous to WMC’s target situations.

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