As you move on from finalizing your divorce, you expect things to be different, and hopefully better. However, when circumstances change, it may be difficult if you need to modify the original agreements you made on your divorce agreement.
Most commonly, modifications to custody agreements may be requested during a chance of circumstances. If you’re in this situation, you might wonder if you will be permitted to change the custody orders, or if they must remain the same. Here’s what you should know.
Is There a Way to Change My Child Custody Order in Arizona?
In divorce disputes, Arizona courts are always concerned with what is best for the children. It takes a lot of effort to change current child custody orders, sometimes referred to as changing legal decision-making or parenting time. However, with the help of a child custody law attorney, it will be much easier to make a change to these court orders.
Circumstances That Allow for Changes to Child Custody Orders
The law dictates that a parent cannot file a motion to modify an existing child custody order for at least one year after it is entered into the system. However, that ruling could be disregarded if there is evidence that the child may be in danger mentally, physically, or emotionally.
Child abuse or domestic violence are just a few examples of when the court will disregard the previous ruling. The courts will also make changes if they find there is evidence that one parent isn’t complying with the original custody order. In that case, the waiting period could be reduced to six months.
In order to modify an existing child custody order, you must submit an affidavit to the court which details why you are requesting these changes. There must be adequate cause for this hearing, or the court will deny modifications and keep the current order in place. Working with a lawyer can help ensure you don’t hit any bumps on the road to modifying child custody in your case.
Keep in mind that once a hearing is granted, the court’s primary focus will still be on what is in the best interest of the children involved in the case before it will permit any changes. For example, if the court discovers that a child is being abused or that one parent has been using alcohol or drugs, it will make modifications to the custody order.
Additionally, if the court finds evidence that any parent with either sole or shared custody has been convicted of a drug crime within the last 12 months, changes will be made. If your situation doesn’t involve domestic abuse or drugs, it may be more difficult to modify your child custody order. You should speak with an attorney to get the legal counsel you need to determine if the courts will agree with your request for custody modifications.