Petitions to Modify Require a Change of Circumstance

Brandon M. Sander, Esq

In order to file to modify an existing order, a parent must wait an entire year from the date the last parenting time order was entered.

In order to file to file to modify because the other parent is not complying with the existing order, you only have to wait six months.

If it is an emergency, such as significant domestic violence, spousal abuse or a child is at imminent risk a parent may file at any time.

Once you have met the time requirements – to file a Petition to modify, the burden is on the parent seeking the modification to prove there has been a change of circumstance sufficient for the Judge to grant the petition.

In considering the Petition to Modify, the court will analyze the following 11 factors found in A.R.S. §25-403:

1. The relationship between the parent and the child.

2. The interaction and interrelationship of the child with any person who may affect the child's best interest.

3. The child's adjustment to home, school and community.

4. If the child is of age and maturity, the child’s wishes.

5. The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.

6. Which parent is more likely to allow continuing contact with the other parent.

7. Whether one parent intentionally misled the court to cause an unnecessary delay.

8. Whether there has been domestic violence or child abuse.

9. The nature and extent of coercion or duress used by a parent in obtaining an agreement regarding parenting time.

10. Whether a parent has undergone and educational program pertaining to the emotional, psychological effects of divorce on children.

11. Whether either parent was convicted of an act of false reporting of child abuse or neglect.

If you find yourself, a friend or a loved one wanting or needing to file for a parenting plan modification and you would like to work with one of our experienced Attorneys, please call OWENS & PERKINS at (480) 630-2464 to schedule your free 30 minute consultation.

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