There are many reasons why a person may want to modify a child custody plan. The plan that worked during one phase of life may no longer work due to job changes, changes within the family itself, school needs, or a whole host of other reasons. As a family’s circumstances change, their existing child custody agreement may no longer serve their needs. You can request a modification of custody (parenting time or legal decision making) any time that a significant change has occurred and a modification would be in your children’s best interest.
If you would like to change your current order, consider working with a Scottsdale child custody modification lawyer. Child custody cases can be the most important and most difficult types of cases, and modifying a custody order can be challenging. A seasoned child custody attorney from our steadfast legal team could help you demonstrate that you’ve experienced a substantial and continuing change in circumstances.
When a Child Custody Order Can Be Modified
There are two ways that a child custody order can be modified. First, both parents can agree to a modification and its terms and submit a proposed stipulated order for the changes.
If there is no agreement between the parents, then one parent must petition the court for a modification of custody, which in Arizona is called Legal Decision Making and Parenting time. The Petition must explain exactly what substantial and ongoing change in circumstances has taken place since the entry of the last order and why the proposed change is in the best interest of the children.
You must wait one year since the entry of the last order to request a modification unless the order is not being followed by one parent or the children are in immediate danger from the current parenting plan and custody order. Some examples where you do not have to wait to ask for a modification include:
- Child abuse
- Domestic violence
- Spousal abuse
- Physical, mental, or emotional endangerment of the child
- Abandonment by one parent
Modifications are not always easy to get or defend against, and self-representing parents sometimes do not present their circumstances in the way the court needs to hear them to secure the outcome they desire. This is definitely a good time to consult with an experienced Scottsdale child custody alterations attorney. A seasoned lawyer could help you with modifying a child custody agreement.
Reasons for Modifying Child Custody
In determining whether the best interests are served by the modification requested, the court considers a variety of factors listed under Arizona Revised Statutes §25-403. A local judge would be responsible for identifying the children’s best interests and deciding whether any proposed changes to their custody order would promote their needs.
Factors which go into a determination for modification include:
- The relationship between the child and their parents
- The child’s adjustment to home and school
- The mental and physical health of all involved parties
- Whether there has been any incidences of domestic violence or child abuse
- The child’s wishes and preferences
These factors are essential for promoting a family’s health and happiness. Local judges favor arrangements that uphold consistency and reliability in a child’s life.
No child should have to live in a household where domestic violence is taking place. If it can be proven that a child is in imminent danger by staying with either parent, a court will almost certainly agree to modify the custody order to ensure they stay out of harm’s way.
Adhering to a custody order will be next to impossible if one of the parents moves out of state. Should this happen, both parents would likely agree that a modification that includes alternating travel schedules is necessary.
It is unfortunately common for a parent to fail to comply with a child custody order. A child custody modifications lawyer in Scottsdale could advise you on whether certain instances of noncompliance are sufficient enough to warrant a modification.
Call a Scottsdale Child Custody Modifications Attorney Today
Scottsdale family law judges require a significant change in a family’s circumstances before they can agree to modify a child custody order. You should consider reaching out to a Scottsdale child custody modification lawyer regardless of whether you are petitioning the court for changes or seeking to oppose proposed alterations from your children’s other parent. Let us help you give your kids the life they deserve, call today.