- Change of jobs
- Change of location
- Child's wishes
- Child's age and needs
- Parent's wishes
- Lack of interaction from a parent
- Abuse or neglect
How can I change my custody or visitation agreement?
Generally, you must wait a year after the last custody order before you are able to change custody or parenting time. In the case of abuse or neglect, or if one parent violates the custody order, you may be able to petition for an "emergency" change of parenting time. An "emergency" change may also be an option if one parent is arrested for a crime involving a child. If you think you have reason to change your visitation or custody agreement before a year has passed, talk to one of our experienced Phoenix child custody lawyers for answers that are more specific to your unique case.
In order to modify visitation or custody, you will need to show a "substantial and continuing change in circumstances" or that a change in parenting time would be in your child's best interest. For minor changes to the visitation schedule, Arizona law is more forgiving. A small change may not require the year-long wait, and you may not need to prove a "substantial and continuing change in circumstances," only that the change would be in the child's best interest.
What's the first step?
Because custody and parenting time changes are so very dependent on your circumstances, we recommend that you speak with a Phoenix visitation lawyer as soon as possible to get a clearer idea of what you will need. These kinds of changes can be confusing, not to mention highly emotional, and it helps to know the legal process is in good hands while you ease your children through the process and figure out logistics with your former spouse.
Here at Curry, Pearson & Wooten, we understand that a family's needs change over time, and we want to help you come to an agreement that works best for you and your child. Give us a call at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a FREE legal consultation, or request a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Family Law - How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.