When issuing child custody orders, courts usually put the interests of the children first. However, circumstances may change, and you may feel that the current arrangement affects your parent-child relations or is not in the children’s best interests.
In such a case, you may seek to revise the current child custody orders to correct the situation. However, it is not so straightforward.
You need valid reasons to ask for a modification
A judge can only modify existing child custody orders based on justifiable reasons. Since they involve changes in the child’s life, you have to show that things have drastically changed since the orders were issued and that the children’s welfare is not guaranteed.
Some of the possible reasons include:
- Your co-parent is not following the custody terms. It includes denying you visitation rights or constant violation of existing orders.
- The child’s needs have changed.
- Physical relocation that will affect the present custody terms.
- Your co-parent’s situation has changed, or the child is in danger.
Arizona law states that you have to file such a request with the court together with any supporting evidence of your claims. Additionally, you have to give your co-parent notice that you have filed for a revision of the custody orders. Remember, they may dispute your claims by filing a counter-response, which is why you need verifiable proof.
If your reasons are enough to sway the judge’s decision, custody terms can be revised to suit the needs of the children. For instance, you may be awarded physical custody of the children if it’s not the case, and in extreme cases, your co-parent may be denied any access to the children.
As a parent, protecting your children should always come first. Therefore, you should be prepared to take action if you believe they are at any risk in what is perhaps the most critical stage in their lives.