There are many reasons why a couple may need to change a visitation schedule that they previously had agreed on or were ordered to follow. One parent’s work schedule may change or the visitation schedule may be cutting into a child’s after school commitments. Whatever the reasons may be, changing schedules for visitations can be difficult, especially when the parents do not get along with each other. However, making a new visitation schedule does not have to very complicated, especially if both parents are willing to be flexible when making a new visitation schedule. The fact is, visitations can be changed.
The first step to changing a visitation schedule is for an individual to try to have a civil conversation with their ex-spouse. Mentioning the valid reasons why one would like the visitation schedule to be changed may help the ex-spouse understand the situation. Unfortunately, if the ex-spouse is trying to make the other’s life difficult, this conversation can have the opposite effect. The ex-spouse may become more determined to have the visitation schedule stay the same, so that the other parent is inconvenienced. If a new visitation agreement can be agreed on, making one’s own contract and getting it notarized is a smart idea.
If a couple can agree on a new visitation schedule, they still must file the motion with the courts to make it official and legal. The court will examine the new agreement, to make sure that the new visitation schedule benefits the child. It is not necessary to involve attorneys to change visitations, unless the couple cannot agree on a new schedule. However, if the couple cannot agree, the individual who wishes to change the visitation schedule should contact a lawyer and file a motion on their own with their local family court.
It is possible to represent oneself in visitations cases, but hiring an attorney. if one can be afforded will usually make the process easier. However, it may also create a bad feeling between the ex-spouses. A lawyer is also good to have to act as a middle man between an individual and their ex-spouse, if the situation is hostile.
Petitioning the court is best when done in advance. Since it may take some time to hammer out the new visitation schedule and make it into an official court order, one should file almost immediately upon realizing a new visitation schedule is desired. Waiting until the last second to file for a new visitation schedule makes an already difficult and complicated situation into a worse one.
One should have valid reasons for wanting visitations to be changed. Since the new order will most likely disrupt both the lives of the child as well as the ex-spouse, reasons for the requested change should be valid. A family court will take a change in visitation request more seriously if there is good reason behind the request. Regular visitations can give a child a sense of stability, so changes in visitation should not be made on a whim or for selfish reasons.