Family Law

Summary of Requirements

Summary of the requirements of A.R.S. 25-351 through 355 

PURPOSE

To provide parties involved in domestic relations litigation with information about the impact of the litigation and restructuring of the family relationships on the minor children involved.

PROVISIONS

  • Requires the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court in each county, to adopt and implement an educational program about the impact that divorce, the restructuing of families and judicial involvement have on children.
  • Directs the Supreme Court to adopt minimum standards for educational programs.
  • Requires the Presiding Judge to submit a program plan to the Supreme Court for approval. The plan shall be consistent with the Supreme Court's minimum standards including the length and nature of the program, qualifications of program providers and the evaluation and maintenance of the program.
  • Specifies that each program shall include information regarding the notification requirements of section 25-403.05 (B)
  • Specifies that the Presiding Judge, or a judge designated by the Presiding Judge, shall administer the program in each county and may contract with private entities or political subdivisions for program services.
  • Requires the court to order either or both parties to attend the program in any actions for legal separation or dissolution of marriage involving a minor child or in any paternity or maternity proceeding where a party has requested custody or parenting time rights.
  • Gives the court the authority to order program attendance in actions or proceedings involving child support or any proceeding for modification or enforcement of parenting time or custody.
  • Stipulates that the court shall not grant relief in favor of a party who fails to complete the educational program ordered by the court.
  • Provides exceptions to the required attendance under the following conditions:
    -if the court determines participation is not in the best interests of the parties or the child
    -if a party is enrolled or plans to enroll in a comparable program
    -if the court determines a party has previously completed the program or a comparable program
  • Specifies that the court may enter appropriate orders and make reasonable efforts to protect the safety of the participants in cases with a history of domestic violence.
  • Requires the parties to attend the program within the time period specified by the judge unless the judge extends the deadline.
  • Specifies that the court may require a party to attend a program more than once.
  • Stipulates that each person who attends the Parent Education Program may be required to pay a fee not to exceed $50 in order to cover the costs of the program. Indigents are exempted from the fee.
  • Establishes a Children's Issues Education Fund in each county and specifies that fees collected by the Superior Court be deposited in the fund.
  • Requires the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court to administer the fund.
  • Specifies that Fund monies shall supplement, not supplant, state or county appropriations not otherwise available.
  • Requires the Clerk of the Court to transfer fee monies to the county treasurer on a monthly basis.
  • Directs that monies are to be disbursed by the county treasurer only upon the direction of the Presiding Judge.
  • Stipulates that the county treasurer invest monies in the fund upon the notice of the Presiding Judge.
  • Requires the county treasurer, on or before August 10 of each year, to provide the Presiding Judge with a report showing how much money is in the fund.
  • Exempts the Children's Issues Education Fund from the lapsing appropriation statutes and from contribution to the Elected Official's Retirement Fund and Law Library Fund.
 Summary of Requirements of A.R.S. 25-403.05(B)

PROVISIONS

  • Unless the court finds that there is no significant risk to the child, restricts the court from granting custody or unsupervised parenting time to a person who:

- is a registered sex offender or
- has been convicted of murder in the first degree of the other parent of the child who is the subject of the order.

  • Requires that a parent who knows that a sex offender or a person who has been convicted of a dangerous crime against children will be around a child to  immediately notify the other parent.
  • States that the notification must be sent by first class mail, return receipt requested; by email; or by by other communication accepted by the court.