When parents divorce, they are granted joint custody in many cases. In other cases, one parent may retain custody while the other is simply granted visitation. In either case, there is usually a set schedule as to when each parent is allowed to spend time with their child. In some divorce cases, parents are allowed a loose schedule as long as both parents fulfill their part of a parenting plan. In other cases, the schedule is more strictly adhered to, with set days, hours, etc. all written clearly into a court order. Unfortunately, life does not always follow a set schedule. Car trouble, job requirements, moving, even the flu can cause one parent to need to reschedule time with their child. If you need to change visitation hours which were set in your divorce order, contact a divorce lawyer such as Boston Divorce Attorney Doug Lovenberg.

Petitioning the Courts

 

One of the first steps to take if you wish to modify or change visitation hours is to petition the courts. You may petition the court to change visitation hours if there are major changes expected in your circumstances. Once petitioned, the court will hear evidence and testimony from both the petitioning party and the responding party, or other parent. The court will then decide if the changes in child visitation should be made. Any change which is made to visitation arrangements must always be in the best interest of the child or children involved.

 

No Petition Needed When Parents Agree

Petitioning the court is necessary when one parent wishes for changes in child visitation that the other parent does not agree with. When both parents agree, however, a petition of the court may not be needed. When both parents are in agreement about a change in child visitation, then they can prepare their own written modification of their visitation schedule. This requires both parties to be able to speak calmly and act in the best interest of their child(ren). It will only work if the courts see that the parents are working together to agree on changing visitation hours. The court will then, in most cases, agree to the modifications so long as they are in the child(ren)’s best interests.

Bigger Changes to Visitation Agreements

There are, of course, sometimes larger arguments about child visitation than just that of the hours and days which each parent will get to spend with their child. While one parent may wish to change the visitation schedule, they may also wish to change who the custodial parent is, or they may plan to move to another state, which would require huge changes to an existing visitation plan. Once again, if both parents agree, then the courts will usually modify child visitation if there is no perceived danger to the child by doing so. If both parties cannot agree, however, court intervention may be needed to decide what is best for the child or children involved. If you and your child’s other parent are having difficulties coming to an agreement over what is in the best interest of your child(ren) in child visitation changes, give Attorney Doug Lovenberg a call today at 617-973-9950.