How to Modify a Child Custody Agreement in Arizona?

How to Modify a Child Custody Agreement in Arizona

How to Modify a Child Custody Agreement in Arizona?

If you have recently been divorced in Arizona, you might be dealing with a child custody agreement put into place during the divorce settlement. Did you know that modifications may be made to child custody agreements, under certain circumstances? Your Arizona Family Law Firm can help you if you need to make modifications to a child custody agreement. There are many valid reasons for modification of a custody agreement.

Reasons to Modify a Child Custody Agreement in Arizona

Circumstances change, and the Arizona family court system realizes that. This is why it is possible to make modifications to a child custody agreement under certain circumstances.

  • Under ARS 25-411, after a one-year waiting period, a child custody agreement in Arizona may be modified if you can show a substantial, continuing change of circumstances. This must include detailed facts establishing adequate cause to set a hearing to modify the agreement.

Potential reasons to modify a child custody agreement include, but are not limited to:

  • Change of job, requiring change of custody schedule to accommodate new job
  • Change in residence, in which one lives closer to (or farther away from) children and needs to spend more or less time with them
  • Change in living situation, resulting in more time to spend with children
  • Ex-spouse now works longer hours and you want more custody time with children
  • You feel it is not in the best interest of your child(ren) for your ex-spouse to parent them on a full-time basis

A child custody agreement can be modified with the assistance of an Arizona family lawyer. First, the lawyer must draft a motion outlining the reasons why you want the agreement to be modified. To that petition, they will attach certification that spells out the reasons why you want changes to occur.

Any reasons that you list in the petition to modify a custody agreement must include detailed facts establishing adequate cause for an evidence hearing on the petition to modify. If detailed facts are not included, the petition to modify custody arrangements may be dismissed. Your Arizona Family Law Firm will help you to write a document outlining detailed events that have happened since the entry of the previous custody order, including dates, places, times and detailed facts. All of this will be designed to bolster your request for custody agreement modifications. When applicable, police reports and witness statements may be attached.

Modifications to the Custody Agreement Must Be in the Best Interest of the Child

Regardless of the reason that you wish to modify a child custody agreement in Arizona, the court will make no modifications unless they are in the best interest of the child. For example, if you want more time with your children due to one of the above-mentioned changes in situation, but a judge feels that a change in the custody agreement would disrupt your child’s life too much, that modification will not be granted.

Will New Custody Agreements Impact Child Support?

Another aspect of a potential modification to a child custody agreement that the court will take into consideration is whether any changes to a custody agreement will impact child support. For example, if you want to give your ex more time with the children, chances are that the amount of support you pay to that ex will increase. If you wish to have more time with your kids, there is a chance that the amount of child support you pay to the ex will decrease. Keep this in mind when you are requesting modifications to a child custody agreement.

Your Arizona Family Law Firm is ready to help you draft a petition to modify your child custody agreement. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.