How to Change Custody Agreement in Arizona
If you are going through a custody battle or have an existing custody agreement that needs to be modified in Arizona, it can be a daunting process. However, with the right guidance and understanding of the legal system, it is possible to change a custody agreement in Arizona.
Before we dive into the steps involved in changing a custody agreement in Arizona, it is important to understand the different types of custody arrangements.
Types of Custody in Arizona:
1. Legal Custody: The right to make decisions regarding the child`s upbringing, including their education, medical care, and religious upbringing.
2. Physical Custody: The right to have the child physically reside with the parent.
3. Sole Custody: One parent has both legal and physical custody of the child.
4. Joint Custody: Both parents share legal and/or physical custody of the child.
Steps to Change Custody Arrangement in Arizona:
1. Identify the Reason for Modifying Custody: First, determine why you want to modify the custody agreement. The most common reasons are a change in the child`s needs, a change in the parent`s schedule or living situation, or a change in the parent`s ability to care for the child.
2. File a Petition: Once you have identified the reason for modifying custody, you need to file a petition with the court. The petition should include the reason for the modification, the requested changes to the custody arrangement, and any supporting evidence.
3. Attend Mediation: In Arizona, before a custody modification case can go to trial, the parents are required to attend mediation to attempt to reach an agreement on their own. During mediation, a neutral third-party mediator will help the parents negotiate a new custody agreement. If an agreement is reached, it will be submitted to the court for approval.
4. Attend a Hearing: If mediation is unsuccessful, the case will proceed to a hearing. During the hearing, each parent will present their case to the judge. The judge will consider the evidence presented, the child`s best interests, and any other relevant factors in making a decision.
5. Obtain an Order: If the judge approves the new custody agreement, they will issue an order. The order will specify the new custody arrangement, including legal and physical custody, visitation schedules, and any other relevant details.
In conclusion, changing a custody agreement in Arizona can be a complex process, but it is possible with the right guidance and understanding of the legal system. By following these steps, parents can modify their custody agreement to better suit their child`s needs and their own schedules and living situations. It is important to remember that the court`s priority is always the child`s best interests, so being prepared with strong evidence and a well-reasoned argument is key to a successful outcome.