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Modification of Visitation

Modifying Visitation by agreement of the parties:

After a final decree of divorce or other order establishing custody and visitation is filed with a court, parents may agree to modify the custody or visitation terms. This modified agreement (also called a “stipulated modification”) can be made without court approval. However, if one parent later reneges on the agreement, the other person may not be able to enforce it. Thus, it is generally advisable to obtain a court’s approval of stipulated modifications. Courts will usually approve modification agreements unless it appears that they are not in the best interests of the child.

Modifying Visitation without agreement of both parties:

Visitation may be modified at any time in which a drastic change in conduct or circumstances involving the parents can be demonstrated. Permanent modifications may be implemented, however, temporary suspension is also an option. In order to modify visitation arrangements, the party in favor of such must file an order with the court presenting clear evidence of the change in conduct or circumstances. Typically, this evidence must be completely new to the court. Any issues addressed previously in any prior proceedings are not grounds for modification. The following are some of the most common factors that are generally the cause for successful modification of visitation arrangements:

  • Chronic non-obedience with the visitation schedule.
  • Repeated failure to return the child at the designated time.
  • The teaching of immoral and/or illegal acts to the child.
  • The parent’s conviction of a crime.