The Consequences of Child Endangerment on Custody in Arizona

Q: Can one incident of child endangerment impact child custody?

In what could easily have been another tragic hot-car baby death, a “beet red” 18-month-old infant covered with two blankets in a 112° vehicle was rescued just in time according to authorities. But the father who reportedly abandoned her for about 20 minutes while shopping is in legal hot water. His claim that he was only shopping for 10 minutes conflicts with store’s video security system, which allegedly clocked the trip at 18 minutes.

The father who reportedly has shared child custody of his two children has been charged with child endangerment and ordered for now to have only supervised visits—provided he even gets released.

In Arizona, father’s rights in matters like legal decision making and parenting time are equal to those of the mother.  However, many fathers still face gender discrimination. Incidents like the one alleged, don’t help, but a Father’s Rights attorney can fight to help you get—or maintain–your rights to be involved in your child’s life.

Sometimes, a co-parent, Child Protective Services, or other relatives with a legitimate interest in the child’s welfare, can petition the court to sever parental rights. This usually happens when abuse or neglect is suspected but can also happen in other situations when severance would be in the best interests of the child.

In Arizona, a broad range of actions may be considered to constitute domestic violence. In addition to the incidents that often come to mind as examples of domestic violence—like physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and psychological abuse—domestic violence doesn’t have to be particularly violent.

Endangerment– or putting the victim in harm’s way– may also constitute domestic violence. And leaving a baby in a hot car where she could have died or been abducted could impact a parent’s custody rights.

If you have shared custody and would like to pursue a modification order to change the terms, or if you need to defend yourself against allegations that may impact child custody and visitation or your other rights, Cohen Family Law can help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

From our offices in Phoenix, Arizona, we routinely handle all aspects of family law throughout Arizona, including Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale, Surprise, Scottsdale, Chandler, and Tempe.