How to Get More Visitation Time with Your Child
Whether you and your child’s other parent have been sharing custody and co-parenting without a court-ordered child custody arrangement for years, or you are in the middle of a contentious custody battle, arguing over how much time you get to spend with your child is emotional and stressful. Many parents who want to have more visitation time with their child go about it in a way that makes that goal less likely. This isn’t because they are bad parents, they just don’t understand what steps they need to take to meet their goal of getting more visitation time with their child.
If you want more time with your child, no matter what the current circumstances are with your child custody case or co-parenting relationship, this checklist can help you understand what you need to do to get more visitation.
How to Request Additional Visitation with Your Child
Things will go more smoothly if your co-parent agrees to increase your visitation. A family court judge will still need to approve the modification, but judges are more willing to do so if both parents agree it is a good idea. If the other parent disagrees, they may fight the change, and the process can become complicated.
When You Can Request Modification of Visitation
Judges really don’t want to see people cycling through the courts on a regular basis asking the judge to tweak their visitation schedules. The courts are too busy, so they expect parents to follow a parenting plan that is approved in in the custody case and make it work. Nevertheless, life goes on and circumstances do change, especially with growing children.
Modifying a court order requires more than mere dissatisfaction with its terms and obligations. The court will assume that the prior order is reasonable and in the child’s best interests. Judges will consider a modification, but only if you have a compelling reason. In modification proceedings, the goal is to convince the family court that since entry of the prior order, changes have taken place and require a new visitation order.
Courts are reluctant to modify their orders, since they were arrived at after careful consideration of the facts in the case and the California Family Code provides that children are entitled to a certain level of stability.
Essentially, you need to show that it is in your child’s best interest for you to receive more visitation. For example, you might have been awarded very limited visitation due to a drug or alcohol problem. If you have since managed to get on top of your addiction, then additional visitation might be warranted.
Alternately, you might have relocated to be closer to your child since the current order was entered. If you’ve moved closer to them, it might be better for everyone if you have the children with you more. Also, the custodial parent might have a new work schedule that requires him or her to be away from home more. In this situation, awarding you more visitation might make sense.
Whether you have a valid reason for seeking a modification to a parenting plan is often a complicated legal question. Consult a knowledgeable California custody modification lawyer at Talkov Law at (844) 4-TALKOV (825568) or contact us online for a free consultation about your case.