I'm trying to figure out what court form I need to fill out my children currently reside with there father 50/50 custody in another state I want them to live with me.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Are your current Orders from an Arizona county? I can only provide advice as to how this can be handled in Arizona.
The manner of seeking change is through a "Petition to Modify". You can modify Legal Decision Making upon a showing of "the failure of the other parent to comply with the provisions of the order", or other significant and continuing changes. The court may also modify parenting time rights whenever modification would serve the best interest of the child, "but the court shall not restrict a parent's parenting time rights unless it finds that the parenting time would endanger seriously the child's physical, mental, moral or emotional health". This is just a very general description, and there is so much more to discuss, including timing issues as to when a modification may be permissible.
Pursuant to Arizona law, your Judge will be required, consistent with the child's best interests, to adopt a parenting plan that provides for both parents to share legal decision-making regarding their child and that maximizes their respective parenting time. In a long-distance situation, this generally means that the child will reside with one parent during the school year, and primarily with the other parent during breaks and summer.
There is no way to predict exactly what a Judge will do. Your goal would be to paint an overall picture of the life you can provide for the child compared to Father's. With most things being somewhat equal, our Court's certainly do order equal parenting time quite often, but that is impossible to do if you live in two different states. A.R.S. §25-403.02(B) requires the Court to adopt a parenting plan that provides for both parents to share legal decision-making regarding their child and that maximizes their respective parenting time (so long as such is in the child's best interests).
This is obviously a very important matter, and you should not go in alone. If you are choosing to proceed without an attorney, then I would suggest that you visit Arizona's self-service center at https://www.azcourts.gov/selfservicecenter.
A qualified and experienced family law attorney can of course assist you in considering your options and then getting where you need to be. Most of us offer free, ½ hour consultations, in which your matter can be discussed in detail. That would be a great opportunity to discuss the specifics of your matter and develop a plan. I would encourage you to quickly schedule this free consultation.