Modifications to Visitation Agreements
When a divorcing couple has children, they will have to establish a child custody agreement. In certain cases, one parent will be granted full custody, which often means the other parent only has visitation rights. Such agreements mandate when and how often one parent will visit his or her child or children after a divorce is finalized. These agreements are enforceable by law and must be adhered to; however, as a child grows and both the parents’ and child’s circumstances change, this agreement may need to be modified.
Reasons for Modifications
Modifications to child visitation agreements might be necessary due to many different factors, most of which involve a substantial change in circumstances or the stability and safety of the children involved. For instance, some common reasons for modifications to child visitation agreements include:
- A parent’s dependence on controlled substances
- A parent is hazardous to a child’s well-being
- Perpetual violations of visitation agreements
- If the relationship between a parent and child becomes violent
- The changed living situation of one or both parents
- The physical or mental condition of both parents
- A parent’s changed financial situation
- Marriage of one of the parents
- Any behavior either parent shows to prevent the other parent from seeing or being with the child
Any of these factors could mean that a change in a child visitation agreement is necessary or in the best interest of a child, and parents need to be prepared for this change.
How to Modify a Child Visitation Agreement
When there is a need to modify a child visitation agreement, you will need to file a petition with the court. The courts recognize that families need to change over time, but that does not mean that modifying a visitation agreement is always straightforward. Keep in mind that the changes you seek may not be granted – it is up to the court to decide. The court will always be looking at what is best for the child.
When seeking to make changes, you will need to provide the following information:
- Both your and the other parents’ information, such as name and address.
- A copy of the agreement that currently exists.
- The reasons you are asking for a modification.
- Suggested modifications you are seeking.
If both parents are jointly submitting a petition for an agreed-upon modification, it’s still important to hire an attorney to ensure your paperwork is filled out properly and that you’re supporting your case for the modification. In fact, some counties require that you have a lawyer review your documents before submitting them.
If you and the other parent are not in agreement, then it’s all the more important to have a lawyer to look out for your and your child’s best interests. When you’re petitioning for a modification without the participation of the other parent, the other parent will be notified or served with court papers after you file the petition with the court.
If the other parent does not agree to your modification, this means your case is contested, and a court date will be settled upon. At the court appearance, you will be able to discuss your evidence and the reason why you are seeking to change the visitation agreement. The other parent will also have a chance to present their side before the judge makes a decision. If there is evidence of abuse or other child endangerment, the court will move quickly to make a decision that is in the best interest of the child.
The qualified and experienced attorneys at BB Law Group PLLC are here to guide you through every step of the petition process.
Ideally, when a modification to the child visitation agreement is needed, the parents can reach an agreement without the need for protracted litigation. We are skilled at helping parents solve disputes decisively and efficiently through mediation, or having an objective third-party assist with communication.
However, sometimes it’s not possible to agree upon a visitation modification, and in these cases, we’ll be your ally and build a strong case for the modification that is best for your child. In the case that an immediate change is needed for the safety of the child, we will work skillfully and efficiently to expedite the necessary changes. We’ll demonstrate a clear history or pattern of child neglect or child abuse for the court.
The attorneys at BB Law Group PLLC will always listen closely to your concerns and determine a legal strategy that’s tailored to your goals. We’ll clearly articulate your case, we’ll gather crucial evidence, and we’ll work to prove that the child’s best interests are in line with your modification request.
A Confidential Case Review
When you’re worried about your child’s well-being, it can be difficult to know what steps to take first. Meeting with a compassionate attorney at a confidential evaluation will give you the opportunity to share your concerns and understand your legal options. Your attorney will let you know what hurdles you might be facing and provide you with a clear roadmap for meeting your goals. They’ll also be able to answer your questions, such as:
- What kind of proof do I need to show that our visitation schedule needs to be changed for the well-being of my child, and how do I effectively keep track of evidence?
- What if my child is making a request to modify the visitation agreement?
- What if my ex’s new spouse is a negative influence on my child?
- How can I request a supervised visitation?
We’re ready to address all of your questions and concerns and find a solution that fits your individual circumstances.
When you are in need of making changes to a visitation agreement or your ex-spouse is seeking changes that you do not agree with, having the support of a qualified attorney is critical. At BB Law Group PLLC, our legal team is prepared to help anyone in such a situation and can provide you the guidance you need. Call (832) 534-2589 today to learn more about your situation.