Phoenix, AZ asked in Family Law for Arizona

Q: I want to modify my final custody order but I have moved to a new state. Can I have the order modified in new state?

Custody order was finalized in Florida, but I now live in Arizona. I want to modify my custody order here (Phoenix). Is it possible to modify it here without having to go to the originating state where the order was set?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Mike Branum
Mike Branum
  • Saint George, UT
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: Maybe.

The statute you are dealing with is called the UCCJEA. "U" stands for "uniform" because it has been adopted by all 50 states so that child custody and jurisdiction is (theoretically) handled the same regardless of which state the child is in. The state that has jurisdiction is the state where the child has lived for the six months before the action to modify is filed UNLESS there is an existing order issued in another state and the child or one of the parents remains in that state. If your ex stayed behind in Florida, you must modify in Florida. There could be an inconvenient forum argument, but litigating UCCJEA disputes costs thousands and thousands of dollars. Your money would be better spent just hiring a Florida lawyer and attempting to modify there.

If everyone now lives in Arizona, that makes things less complicated. You can file to have Arizona recognized the existing Order and then file a petition to modify that Order. You will need to make sure the child has lived in Arizona for at least six months to qualify.

I hope that helps. UCCJEA issues are complicated and there are many judges who do not fully understand how interstate conflicts work.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.