In order to change a custody schedule (now known as parenting time) the parent requesting a change must show a “substantial and continuing change in circumstances” that justifies a modification. The “substantial” change may be something such as one of the parent’s moving residences that makes the current parenting schedule more burdensome; or perhaps one of the parent’s work schedule changed; or maybe the children are just older and their school schedule has changed.
As for the “continuing” part of the change, the requesting parent must show that the change in circumstances is not temporary in nature. In other words, if the change to the parent’s work schedule is only a temporary change, the Court will not modify the schedule based on the temporary change.
Once the burden of showing that the change in circumstances warrants a modification, the Court will use the factors under ARS 25-403 to determine what the new parenting time schedule should be. Ultimately the best interest of the children will be the goal of the court, and not the convenience or desires of the parents.
If you have questions about modifying custody, contact the experienced family law attorneys at Trullinger & Wenk for a consultation to discuss the specifics of your situation.