Married couples with children have to request a court for a visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent. This is also the case when couples are not married and do not live in the same household. It is possible for things to change in the lives of either parent or both of them. There may come a time when the visitation schedule initially agreed to by both parents needs to be modified.
Change In Circumstances
It is possible for either parent to request a modification of a court-ordered visitation schedule. They will be required to demonstrate a significant change in circumstances since the initial visitation order was put in place. Should an agreement not be in place, a court would have to have a contested evidentiary hearing. This would be done to decide if the modification proposed by a parent is in the best interest of the child. A court will determine how the modification could affect the child. Grounds supporting a change of circumstances must be demonstrated. Should a parent want to change their visitation schedule just to make things more convenient for them, it is probably not going to be considered.
Courts understand a long-distance move will alter the stability of a child’s life. In some situations, this has caused courts to change custody from one parent to the other. What often happens is parents work out a plan so each can continue the relationship with their children. If the parents are not able to reach an agreement, a New York court may permit the move after determining which parent should be given physical custody.
Change in Lifestyle
Visitation orders can be modified if significant changes occur in the lifestyle of one or both parents. These could be changes such as the custodial parent being required to work at night and unable to have someone watch their child at this time. It could also involve one parent starting to take drugs or drink heavily. It’s possible the modification would include only visits by a parent when they are sober or when another adult is with the child. If a lifestyle change requires a modification of visitation, it is open to the interpretation of the court.
Abuse Or Neglect
Should abuse or neglect be apparent after visitation, a court will grant a modification. This requires submitting an affidavit to the court. This affidavit will need to provide details and fact concerning the neglect or abuse. These facts should prove a modification is in the best interest of the child. This is also the case if the child is shown to be in danger or subjected to unsafe living conditions by a parent. This will be done if a child has been abandoned by a parent and more.
Should either spouse remarry the original visitation schedule as well as other obligations, may need to be changed. This is considered a reasonable justification to modify child visitation.
It is possible for one parent to develop health issues that will impact their visitation. This could involve long-term injuries as well as terminal illnesses and more.
It is possible for a modification to involve a suspension of child visitation privileges. This happens if the court believes the visits are having a negative impact on the well-being of a child. This will require a court to find exceptional circumstance exists for a suspension of visitation to be ordered. In most cases, a court will try to encourage a relationship between a child and their parent.
It is possible for a couple to informally modify their custody arrangement. If both of the parents agree to the change, there may not be a need to take it before a court. The downside to this is if one parent decides they will no longer honor the agreement. In this situation, there is no legal recourse for the other parent. Should there be a significant change in visitation, it may be best to try and obtain a child modification using the court system. Once a judge has signed the modification, it is legally binding. The court will be responsible for enforcement of the modification.
Any modification to visitation is most successful when each parent is dedicated to working together for the best interest of their children Unfortunately, there are couples where one spouse is unwilling to accept any type of change or is not fulfilling their visitation requirements. When a parent believes a modification for visitation is required, they should discuss it with a New York attorney. They will know if the requested modification will be successful and what is required to get it approved by the court