In order to file to change or modify an existing court order divorce decree modifications, a parent must generally wait an entire year from the date the last parenting time order was entered. There are a few exceptions to this rule. If it is an emergency, such as significant domestic violence, spousal abuse or a child is in imminent danger, a parent may file at any time. If the other parent is not complying with the existing orders, you are only required to wait six months.
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 modification, 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 need to file to modify a parenting plan, please contact our experienced Attorneys at LASITER & JACKSON at (602) 234-5900 to schedule your free 30 minute consultation.