What Are The Common Ways Mothers Lose Custody Of A Child In Arizona? | Law Offices of Gillespie Shields

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by | Jun 23, 2021 | Uncategorized

What Are The Common Ways Mothers Lose Custody Of A Child In Arizona?

Every child needs to grow up in a secure and stable environment. When a question regarding a parent’s or guardian’s fitness arises, however, establishing their fitness is not always straightforward. When seeking to safeguard a kid from a hazardous circumstance, a professional family law attorney is sometimes required. 

They will be able to correctly identify the issues that support your point of view. Here are five typical reasons why a kid in Arizona loses custody, as well as ways to safeguard a youngster in a hazardous environment.

In Arizona, there are five typical causes for a parent or guardian losing parenting time or legal decision-making authority over a child. It’s worth noting that this isn’t always the case. To severely limit or eliminate parenting time or remove legal decision-making from an individual, substantial proof may be required.

The Department of Child Safety (DCS, previously Child Protective Services or CPS) is alerted and an investigation is launched, depending on the circumstances. If the kid’s safety and well-being are seriously threatened, the youngster may be removed from the household. 

Until DCS can thoroughly assess the child’s safety, they may reside with other family members or in foster care. If DCS finds that the kid is in danger, a reunion plan will be put in place to rectify the problem and reconnect the child with his or her parents.

The following are the most prevalent causes for losing custody of a child in Arizona:

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is defined as any kind of sexual contact, as well as exposure to explicit sexual materials or activities by others, as defined by the law (ARS 13-1401, ARS 13-1411, or ARS 13-3507).

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is considerably more difficult to define. A child’s mental health can be significantly harmed by creating an unpleasant home atmosphere replete with screaming or manipulation. In such instances, the evidence will be considered by the court. Then they’ll make a decision based on the child’s best interests.

There are less obvious reasons for losing parental time and legal decision-making. It might happen if a parent is unable or unwilling to create a secure and stable environment for their child, for example.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse of a child is defined under Arizona law as any condition that is likely to cause significant damage or death to a child, either directly or indirectly (ARS 13-3623).

Although physical control of a child may be essential in some instances, physical contact that results in bruising, broken bones, or other bodily injuries, sickness, or endangering the health or safety of a child is likely to result in a DCS investigation. Parental rights, including parenting time and/or legal decision-making, may be lost (temporarily or permanently) as a result of this.

Child Abduction

The definitions of parenting time under Arizona custody rules are quite explicit. It may be deemed child abduction if a parent violates a court-ordered parenting time and legal decision-making agreement and fails to return the kid to the other parent. It’s one of the reasons a parent’s parenting time and/or legal decision-making powers may be taken away.

Moving out of state in violation of a parenting plan or taking an unplanned and unpermitted lengthy vacation can result in the loss of parenting time and/or legal decision-making authority, as well as other consequences (ARS 13-1302).


Another type of child maltreatment is when a parent does nothing. Failure to satisfy a kid’s fundamental physical and emotional requirements is considered child neglect. This also includes intentionally or unwittingly placing a kid in a position that might result in significant harm or death (ARS 13-3619).

Caring for a child in a home where there are hazardous or poisonous substances or illicit narcotics might be deemed neglect. For example, using drugs in the presence of your child is a common reason for parents to lose custody of their children. If a kid under the age of 30 days is diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome, a medical practitioner may suspect neglect (ARS 13-3620).

Identifying and supporting the conduct and circumstances that support a parent’s worry about their kid being in an unsafe environment when they are with their other parent or guardian is critical. Because the law may be complicated, you should always work closely with an attorney during this procedure.

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The attorneys at GillespieShields are well-versed in a variety of different legal fields, ranging from family law to civil suits, employment disputes and probate cases. Although we specialize in several areas of practice, our greatest passion is family law. We believe in giving families peace of mind no matter their situation, and we fight hard to maintain that peace. Whether you’re filing for dissolution or divorce, determining custody of your children, or thinking about adopting children, our experienced attorneys are here to help you every step of the way.  During our private, one-on-one consultation, we’ll take the necessary time to answer all of our questions surrounding Arizona’s family laws, your family’s unique situation, and the possible court outcomes. Contact us today for your consultation!


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