Avoid This Mistake When Preparing a Petition to Modify Custody or Parenting Time

May 04, 2017

This is an example of a petition to modify custody or parenting time that went wrong when it was presented to the judge. 

A recently consulted with a potential client and this potential client had gotten a document prepared for him. He did this to help him in preparing a petition to modify custody and parenting time with his children.

What ended up happening though was when the judge took a look at the client'w petition to modify the document prepared had prepared the judge found that that petition did not set forth a legal reason for custody to be modified. As a result the judge just dismissed the case and didn't even give the client a potential hearing.

It doesn't happen a lot but more and more judges are doing it because they are so overwhelmed with cases and if they don't find that the person establishes the bare necessity of what they need to in their pleading, in their motion, the judge may dismiss the case.

So this is a tip that I gained and want to share with you form that experience. When you are writing or preparing a petition to modify or any kind of petition, the facts of your case are very very important. You have to lay those facts out there. The judge has to understand why your case is different from all the other cases he or she is handling. The judge has to understand if you are seeking a change in custody, why a change might be warranted.

For example in Arizona in order to modify custody or parenting time you have to show the judge that there's been a substantial and continuing change in circumstances. It's not enough to just say in the motion that you're preparing this, you have to set forth the reason why there's been a substantial and continuing change in circumstances.

So I'm guessing that whatever state or country that you're in, if you want to change something with the court, you're going to have to tell the court why it should be changed. This is where the facts become very important.

You say why. For example you say maybe that it's been 5 years since the original custody and parenting plan was entered. So time has passed but keep in mind that time alone is not going to do it. You may add on for example that your child is doing differently that and she was before. Recently there has been a decline in grades or that the school is closing down. Maybe you've gotten remarried or in a new relationship. Maybe the child has new siblings or step siblings.

There are a lot of reasons why a case may be changed and you have to set those forth. You have to tell the judge why you are requesting the change. Details matter. Facts matter. And if you don't lay it out there, you could end up in the same boat as the potential client I met with.



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