What should I do if I feel my visitation time with my child should be modified?
The law states that courts must not modify a prior order allocating parental rights and responsibilities unless there is a showing of changed circumstances since the original decree or facts can be shown that were unknown to the court at the time of the decree, and that the modification is in the best interest of the child. Factors courts consider when determining the best interest of the child are:
- The wishes of the child’s parents regarding the child’s care;
- The wishes and concerns of the child;
- The child’s interaction and interrelationship with the child’s parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest;
- The child’s adjustment to the child’s home, school, and community;
- The mental and physical health of all persons involved in the situation;
- The parent more likely to honor and facilitate court-appointed parenting time rights or visitation and companionship rights;
- Whether either parent has failed to make all child support payments, including all arrearages, that are required of the parent pursuant to child support order under which that parent is an obligor;
- Whether either parent previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any criminal offense involving any act that resulted in a child being abused or neglected; whether there is a reason to believe that either parent has acted in a manner resulting in a child being abused or neglected;
- Whether the residential parent or one of the parents subject to a shared parenting decree has continuously and willfully denied the other parent’s right to parenting time in accordance with an order of the court;
- Whether either parent has established a residence, or is planning to establish a residence, outside this state.
If you believe that you have a basis for modifying visitation time, please contact our office to discuss your options.