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Modifications in AZ family court

In Arizona, court orders regarding legal decision-making and parenting issues are subject to modification if there are significant changes in family circumstances. If you want to seek modifications in court-ordered child custody and child support, the professionals at AZ Diamond Documents can help.

Modification is possible in court orders for children

Since children are our community’s most precious responsibility, the family courts will accept child-related petitions at any time. According to AZ law, either parent may file a petition for modification of a current child custody order any time that “…[T]he child’s present environment may seriously endanger the child’s physical, mental, moral or emotional health…” [ARS 25-411(A)].

If there is evidence of child neglect or abuse, the courts will act immediately to modify the current child custody order.

It is possible to petition for a modification of child custody without waiting for family conditions to deteriorate to the point of endangering children. The guiding principle for courts is that child custody orders must be in the best interests of those children. Even when relationships between a child’s separated or divorced parents are amiable, the loss of a job or personal health issues can lead parents to seek a modification.

Reasons for modification

Courts consider many factors when deciding to modify previous orders, including anything that endangers children. For example, if a parent is frequently intoxicated during parenting time, then a court may find them unable to care for children safely and effectively.

Reasons for changing AZ child custody orders could include differences in work-school scheduling or moves to other communities. In most cases, the parents are able to informally resolve scheduling conflicts, but when needed, courts can modify custody arrangements.

A petition to modify child custody

Once you see that a change in custody is necessary, the next step will be to have a professional legal document preparer help you write and file an appropriate petition for modification.

Whenever parenting time is changed, the family court is obligated to consider a recalculation in child support. An expert legal document preparer can help you create and file the appropriate paperwork:

  • Copy of all current orders that a parent wants to modify
  • Detailed statement of facts and timeline of evidence to support modification
  • Summary of requested actions that the parent wants a judge to take
Since it’s not enough to simply allege that a problem exists, you should be prepared to show proof that substantial and continuing changes have occurred in the custody arrangement. That means making specific factual allegations including names, dates, and times when events occurred that adversely affected the children, as well as financial documentation if necessary.

Emergency modifications

After filing your petition, it usually takes a few weeks to receive a hearing date. It may take even longer for the family court to make its decision. Until the previous custody order is modified, it remains in effect.

If a family situation changes rapidly, a temporary order or emergency order can be requested. The required burden of proof is very high for an emergency order.

As always, the guiding question is what would be in the best interests of the children.

Arizona legal documents

Whether you need a modification in family court or any other type of AZ legal document, our expert team at AZ Diamond Documents can help you create and file the appropriate paperwork for the best results.


Our Arizona Certified Legal Document Preparers have the experience your family needs.

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