Custody modification motions cannot be filed until one year after the date of the original custody decree unless there are filed affidavits alleging that the current living arrangements of the child or children seriously threaten their mental, physical, moral, or emotional health. A joint custody order can be modified if there has been an incident of child abuse or domestic violence at any time since the original custody order. In addition, a parent has the option to request modification of a joint custody order if after six months the other party has failed to abide by the provisions of the court order.
How to Modify a Child Custody Order?
If an individual wishes to modify a child custody order, then he or she must submit a verified petition or affidavit laying out the facts that support the requested modification. The petition or affidavit will be served on the opposing party or any other party with an interest in the proceedings who might object to the changes taking place. The opposing party may then also file an affidavit opposing the proposed modifications. If the court deems that there is an adequate cause for custody modification, a date will be set for a hearing.
When a divorce proceeding involves a custody order, an experienced family lawyer can help individuals to assess the likely outcome of any hearing and to prepare their case. In Arizona, the courts always put the interests of the children first and they will take into account many factors such as which parent provided primary care for the child, the wishes of the child and which parent is most likely to allow for meaningful interaction with the other parent. The Arizona courts have ruled that the negative attitude of one parent to the other that affected visitation was sufficient to justify a change in custody. However, in general, if children have been in one home for a substantial period and there are no issues with that home then it is usually deemed not to be in the best interests of the children to modify the arrangement.
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Child custody cases can be emotional and it is therefore important to find a family law firm whose expertise is in the divorce and custody arena. The Cantor Law Group is located in Phoenix Arizona and with over 70 years of combined experience, we have the knowledge and experience to help you achieve a positive outcome for you and your kids. The Cantor Law Group offers free consultations, please give us a call at (602) 254-8880 or send us an email using our confidential form.