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Changing and Enforcing Legal Decision Making and Parenting Time Orders

Changing and Enforcing Legal Decision Making and Parenting Time Orders

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 touch with Arizona Family Law Attorneys today so we can get started.
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