How Do You Modify Visitation or Parenting Time in Arizona?
Modifying Visitation or Parenting Time in Arizona
You may ask the court to modify parenting time any time you can prove sufficient evidence exists to show modifying parenting time is in the best interests of your children. You may do so by filing a Petition for Modification of Parenting Time up until the child turns 18 years of age. However, Arizona law does impose some time limits for the amendment of a prior legal decision-making order. For example, a legal decision-making order cannot be modified for one year after the court last entered the order unless there is a threat of harm to the child.
Changes in the parental access schedule with the children, however, can be changed at any time. Almost all judges dislike seeing parents repeatedly going back to the court requesting changes in custody or visitation orders unless a real and significant change in circumstances has occurred. You should read the in-depth analysis of the Arizona Supreme Court’s ruling on how a judge is to determine whether a substantial change in circumstances has been alleged to justify setting the case for a child custody modification trial by reading our summary of the Arizona Court of Appeals decision in the Pridgeon v. Superior Court decision.
Emergency Petition to Modify Child Custody
The Court also can grant an Emergency Petition to Modify Child Custody or Parenting Time if a parent raises allegations indicating the children are in imminent risk of serious harm. If so, the court can change or even eliminate all parenting time to a parent until such time an evidentiary hearing may be scheduled for the court to receive evidence from both parents to decide whether to keep the emergency orders in place, modify them, or cancel those emergency orders.
The Arizona Court of Appeals addressed the issue of whether a trial judge is required to modify child support if it changes child custody or visitation orders despite neither party requesting a modification of child support in the Heidbreder v. Heidbreder case. The Heidbreder court stated an Arizona judge is required to determine whether child support should be modified any time a court changes child custody or visitation, even if neither parent filed a request to modify child support.
Chris Hildebrand wrote this article about how to modify visitation in Arizona to ensure everyone has access to information about child custody laws in Arizona. Chris is a family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a visitation case should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and actually caring about what his clients are going through.