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Modification of Custody

Yuma Family Law Attorney Assists with Motions for Modification of Custody

Determined representation when your parental rights are on the line

No parenting time plan lasts forever. As your children grow, their needs and interests change, and parents must adapt. For the parents, too, the passage of time brings change: new career challenges, romantic opportunities and concerns for their own aging parents. In the normal course of life, you can expect to revisit and amend your parenting plan every three years or so. However, there are also circumstances which are out of the ordinary that can prompt you to seek a modification of your order. At the Law Office of Phil Hineman, P.C., a family law attorney is ready to help. Whether you want to petition the court to change your child custody order or defend the status quo, we provide capable representation focused on the best possible results.

Reasons to modify parenting time in Arizona

Parents should not use the Arizona courts as a forum to air petty grievances or as a means of badgering one another. In fact, the Arizona Revised Statutes § 25-411 (F) direct the court to punish a party whose petition for modification “is distressing and constitutes harassment” by ordering that person to pay the other party’s legal fees. You should also be aware that, under A.R.S. § 25-411 (C), a court “shall not restrict a parent’s parenting time rights unless it finds that the parenting time would endanger seriously the minor child(ren)’s physical, mental, moral or emotional health.” However, a court can modify a parenting time plan without imposing restrictions on one parent if doing so would be in the best interest of the child.

With that in mind, here are a few reasons the court would modify an existing parenting time plan:

  • A custodial parent has become unfit due to a circumstance such as substance abuse.
  • A custodial parent has committed physical, verbal or sexual abuse of the child.
  • Contact with a person in a custodial parent’s household is detrimental to the child.
  • The child has developed special needs that a custodial parent cannot meet.
  • A custodial parent is no longer able to provide an appropriate residence for the child.
  • A custodial parent wants to relocate with the child out of state or to a destination that would burden the parenting time of the other parent.
  • A custodial parent is actively interfering with the parenting time of a noncustodial parent.
  • A noncustodial parent has completed the necessary steps to assume part-time custody.

Parties must come to court fully prepared to present facts that support their case. It is vitally important to consult an experienced child custody attorney rather than simply filing a motion on your own.

The process of modifying your parenting time order

There are two ways to modify your parenting time plan: by agreement or at a court hearing after filing a Petition to Modify a Court Order for Parenting Time or Parenting Time and Child Support. The first process is much less adversarial. You and the other parent admit that your current parenting plan doesn’t fit your family’s needs and agree to negotiate a new plan or enter family law mediation to develop a new plan. When you reach an agreement, you draw up a new parenting time plan and present it to the court for approval.

Unfortunately, parents do not always agree that amending a parenting time plan is necessary. This is especially true when one parent alleges that the other is unfit. The petitioning parent must file a motion and the court will hear the case. The motion must give reasons why legal decision-making or parenting time should be altered. The court may issue a temporary order of modification as it investigates the allegations further. Often, an accused parent is limited to supervised visitation for a period of time. The case may continue for several months before the court is ready to rule.

A family law attorney understands how important your children are to you. We help you fight for their welfare and for your right to a loving relationship with them.

Contact a child custody lawyer in Yuma for help with modifications of court orders

The Law Office of Phil Hineman, P.C. provides knowledgeable guidance for modifying or defending your parenting time plan. Call us today at 928-257-1155 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with an experienced family law attorney.

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