Parenting plans should be reviewed periodically for example, when a very young child reaches school age or when one parent no longer exercises their parenting time.
Who Can Seek a Modification?
First, there must be an existing order by the court that established the current custody arrangement and parenting plan. The following are a couple of common misunderstandings
HOWEVER: If you and the other parent reach an agreement, file it with the court, and if its approved you can easily and simply modify your plan.
A party must file the modification with the Clerk of the Court and send it to the other parent. The person seeking a modification should include detailed facts to support the request. The person must specify if the request is to alter joint or sole custody or to change or clarify the parenting time arrangement.
Timing of the Request
Generally, a custody order must have been in effect for at least one year before a party may attempt to modify the order. However, there are exceptions to this general rule. An order may be modified earlier than one year after the order if a party:
The Legal Standard for the Court To Consider
The court must determine if the modification is in the best interest of the child. A court cannot restrict parenting time unless it finds the child’s physical, mental, moral, or emotional health is seriously endangered. For more information on the factors a court must consider Refer to A.R.S.§25-403.
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