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When is it possible to modify our custody arrangement?

A common question that often arises in custody cases is when is it acceptable to change a divorced couple’s custody arrangement. For instance, we were recently asked what happens if a parent moves out of state, gives the other parent sole custody, and later decides to move back and regain custody? Is there a waiting period involved?

In Arizona, the law on modifications governs situations like these. When seeking to modify a child custody or parenting time order, it’s essential to understand the requirements. In our state, you must wait a minimum of one year from the time the last order was entered before you can request a modification. This waiting period applies even in cases involving relocations.

Time Requirements

If one parent relocated immediately after giving up primary custody and soon afterward wants to change the rules, the answer remains the same. Regardless of the circumstances, the parent will need to wait for 11 months before filing for a change in custody. It’s important to note that the courts prioritize the well-being and stability of the child involved, which is why they enforce this waiting period.

In addition, it’s crucial to review the existing order to determine if mediation is a requirement before pursuing a modification. Understanding any mandatory provisions can help you prepare and navigate the process more effectively.

Returning to the scenario of a parent who wishes to move back and regain custody, they are not exempt from the one-year waiting period. Just like any other modification request, they must adhere to this timeframe. The purpose of this waiting period is to ensure careful consideration of any changes that may impact the child’s life.

Is this you?

If you find yourself in a similar situation, it is highly recommended to seek the assistance of an experienced family law attorney. At Modern Law, we provide guidance, explain your rights, and help you navigate the specific requirements applicable to your case.

Lastly, if you or the other parent in a custody case wishes to modify a child custody or parenting time order in Arizona, patience is key. The law requires a minimum one-year waiting period from the time the last order was entered. Understanding the applicable rules and seeking legal advice will ensure you navigate the process smoothly and protect the best interests of the child involved.

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