If you recently went through a divorce form your partner and custody was awarded to your ex-spouse, then you likely have a visitation agreement set up that specifies when you get to see your child. You may wonder if you can change this agreement due to changes in your life. The good news is that changes to child visitation agreements are made often, although there are some changes that are easier to get approved by courts than others. Here are two instances when it can easily be changed.
1. Your Ex-spouse and You Agree to Minor Changes
In most circumstances, if you can work a new visitation agreement out with your ex that you both agree on and involves only minor changes, then the court will sign off on it. That means that even if you dread talking to your ex and want to propose the change directly to the court, it is in your best interest to at least try to speak with your ex and reason with them about how you want to change the agreement and why. What is considered a minor change to a custody agreement varies by state. For example, in Missouri, minor changes include altering the days you see your children or the times.
Even if your ex has been unreasonable in the past, you may be surprised that they are willing to work with you. For example, their schedule may have changed as well, and they may already be considering altering the agreement. If you can both work out a new agreement together, then have your lawyers meet and draft up the document to submit to the court.
2. You Are Making a Major Move in Residence
If your spouse and you cannot agree on a new visitation plan, then you must petition that the court enforce a change. You must give a good reason for wanting to change the agreement without your ex-spouse's cooperation, and a major change in residence is something that most court officials would agree warrants a needed change in a visitation agreement. However, you must be moving far enough away from your current residence and your ex-spouses's residence to make the current schedule difficult to adhere to.
What is considered a change in residence that warrants altering a child visitation agreement varies by state, but it is typically either a move across state lines or a move that is a certain number of miles (often 100 miles) from the custodial parent's home.
Before you move, many states, like Pennsylvania, require you to report the intended move to the court and the custodial parent 90 days before you plan to relocate if you are moving out of state. While this may seem unnecessary to you, remember that after you move, you will be taking your children across state lines during visitation periods. This is considered a pretty big deal to the courts, and that is why they need this notice. Giving this notice is very important and will work in your favor when you do request a needed alteration to the visitation plan.
Child visitation agreements can always be altered, although there are times when it is easier to get the courts to agree to the changes than others. Always speak to a divorce lawyer, such as Koth & Gregory PC Law Firm, or a child custody lawyer for help in creating the best plan to end up with a new child visitation agreement that will be best for you and your children.Share