Committees

Ad Hoc Custody Workgroup

The Domestic Relations Committee, an interim legislative committee, established the Ad Hoc Custody Workgroup to review and recommend improvements to Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 25, Chapter 4; Child Custody.

The purpose of this site is to share information about the workgroup’s meetings, progress, and work product as well as gather constructive comments from stakeholders.

As with all legislative committees, workgroup meetings are open to the public.  Time is reserved on the agenda for public comment.  Each member of the public who wishes to share ideas for improving the custody statutes may speak for up to two minutes.

 Image of Family

Stakeholders may also participate by submitting productive comments on this site. Comments should be narrowly focused on Arizona’s child custody statutes and proposed revisions to them. The workgroup cannot discuss or offer assistance with any individual custody case.

Unlike a forum or a chat room, this site does not allow for direct response from the workgroup.  The site is a tool for gathering constructive comments for the workgroup’s consideration. The site moderator will compile comments and make them available for review and discussion by workgroup members at the next regularly scheduled meeting. The compiled comments will be printed and distributed to members and posted to this site as part of the meeting materials.

 

Membership List

Meeting Information

Ad Hoc Workgroup Draft Documents

Research, Reports, and Shared Materials

Outreach

Domestic Relations Committee

 

Principles, Operating Procedures, and Goals of the Domestic Relations Committee Ad Hoc Custody Workgroup 

From the beginning we have taken an evidence-based, rather than ideological, approach. We welcome the participation of any individuals who have expertise to share, be it academic, professional, or personal expertise gained from experience in the family law system. The atmosphere we maintain is one of “mutual respect for our esteemed colleagues.” Each of us takes an active role in promulgating the existence and purpose of this body statewide. We will seek as much input as practical before any recommendations are made.

Goals:

1.

Conduct a comprehensive review and revision of the custody statute, Title 25, Chapter 4, in order to bring it up to date, to improve clarity and consistency, and to make it more user friendly to courts and self-represented parties.

2.

Integrate A.R.S. §§ 25-103(B) and (C) into the custody statute, Title 25, Chapter 4. The Ad Hoc Custody Workgroup had been in existence and meeting regularly for months before SB 1314 was proposed. In March 2010, the Workgroup, in response to a directive from the DRC, crafted and voted 7 to 1 in favor of language that Senator Allen sponsored and that Governor Brewer signed into law as A.R.S. §§ 25-103(B) and (C). A.R.S. §§ 25-103(B) and (C) are in Title 25, Chapter 1, as a declared public policy of the state and currently are not integrated into the custody statute (Chapter 4).

3.

Add new provisions with specific consideration to children’s best interests in order to  give courts guidance in implementing A.R.S. §§ 25-103(B) and (C),

  a.

Procedures by which and conditions under which, courts adopt parenting plans that maximize parenting time with both parents and provide for both parents to share parental decision-making concerning their child

  b.

Procedures that will enable litigants, attorneys, and judges to identify and evaluate cases involving intimate partner violence and child abuse in a more informed manner.

  c.

Procedures that may help reduce the incentive to make false allegations of intimate partner violence or child abuse.

4.

Our overarching goals are:

  a.

Best interests of children 

  b.

That these clarifications and procedures will result in a system that is

 

1)

less adversarial,

 

 2)

less able to be manipulated by conflict-prone parents, and

 

 3)

more able to efficiently self-correct when errors are inevitably made.