If you already have a legal decision making and parenting time order in
place, but there is a problem, it may be possible to get it changed. Even
once the order is in place, changes can be made if you and the other parent
agree on the change. In other instances, you can request that a judge
make a change to the current order. If there is a problem with one parent
following the court’s order regarding legal decision making or parenting
time, you can also request that the judge enforce an order. For instance,
if one parent is not complying with the order, the other parent can go
back to court and request that the judge force the non-compliant parent
to follow through on the order.
Common non-compliance issues that could be addressed vary widely, but include
such issues as: one parent failing to bring the child home at the designated
time, failing to tell the other parent about medical care, removing the
child from agreed upon schooling or daycare, chronic lateness when picking
up the child or dropping them off, etc.
Enforcing legal decision making and parenting time orders is a challenge. Because it can be such a challenge, lesser issues (like
tardiness when picking up or dropping off) may be better approached through
mediation. In fact, in most cases, this type of issue would result in
the judge requiring that parents attempt to go through mediation in order
to resolve the dispute. In situations where the violations are of a more
severe nature, the parent in violation of the court order can be held
“in contempt of court.” This can result in the offending parent
paying a fine or possibly a modification of the parenting plan.
When attempting to change a custody order, there must be a “significant
change” in circumstances in comparison to the circumstances as they
existed at the time the order was first entered.
What qualifies as a “significant change” in circumstance? For
example, if one parent plans to move to another state or change jobs or
any other change that would substantially alter the amount of time available
to spend with the child. The most common issue that lands divorced parents
in front of a judge seeking legal decision making and parenting time order
modifications is one parenting wanting to relocate.
If you have questions about your potential eligibility for a
legal decision making and parenting time modification
or if you need assistance enforcing your current order, please get in
Arizona Family Law Attorneys
today so we can get started.