Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: Can an order for sole custody be changed if it was granted to the father a year ago?


Either parent may request in writing that the court modify a custody order. To change an existing order it must be shown that the best interests of the child are served. The request is filed with the Clerk of the Superior Court and a fee for filing is charged; however, there are limitations on requesting a modification. For example, a request may not be filed for one year from the date of the earlier order, unless there are special circumstances seriously endangering the child's physical, mental, emotional or moral health. If a form of joint custody has been ordered, a modification may be requested at any time if there is evidence that domestic violence, spousal abuse or child abuse has occurred since the date the last order was granted. In a joint custody situation, a parent must wait six months before seeking a modification if the reason for the request is that one parent has failed to obey the court's custody order. You can visit the Superior Court Website to look at the forms available under the Self-Service Center link.  There are forms available regarding different child custody issues, including modification of custody and parenting time.

You may also want to review the article on this website titled “Child Custody”.  Family law matters can become very complex. You may want to review the article on this site about "Where to Find an Attorney for Specific Legal Advice." 


  • Can an order for sole custody be changed if it was granted to the father a year ago?




  • Please select your county of residence below.



  • State Bar of Arizona
  • Maricopa County Bar
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program


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