Legal Information: Arizona

Custody

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Updated: 
September 15, 2017

How do I modify (change) a legal decision-making and parenting time order?

To change (modify) a final legal decision-making and parenting time order, you must fall into one of the following categories: 

  • one year has passed since the order was issued, in most cases;
  • the judge allows the order to be modified if there is reason to believe that the child’s present environment may put the child’s physical, mental, moral or emotional health in serious danger;
  • six months have passed since an order for joint legal decision-making was entered, and the other parent has not followed the order; or
  • you can file to modify at any time if you have joint custody and there is evidence that domestic violence, spousal abuse or child abuse occurred since the order was entered.* 

Please note that some special rules apply to military families. To read about the modification of legal decision-making orders that involve military families, read section A.R.S. § 25-411 on our AZ Statutes page.

To change a legal decision-making and parenting time order that is already in place, you generally need to file a motion with the court that issued the order, even if you moved.  Generally, for the court to change your legal decision-making or parenting time order, you need to show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances since your last hearing and that the new arrangement would be in the best interest of your child.

You can find the forms you will need to fill out for a modification of legal decision-making at our AZ Download Court Forms page.  You can find legal help with this process through our AZ Finding a Lawyer page.

* A.R.S. § 25-411