One of the biggest conflicts in a divorce case is child custody and visitation. Find out if a judge can modify a timeshare order in your custody case.
When Can a Judge Modify a Prior Timesharing Order?
A judge can only modify a prior order establishing timesharing if there was a substantial, involuntary, permanent, and unanticipated change in circumstances since the last order addressing timesharing or parental responsibility and the modification is in the best interest of the child.
Modifying a previous order setting timesharing or parental responsibility is one of the hardest things to do in family law. Timesharing or parental responsibility orders cannot be modified on a whim, should not be modified because of small, one time parenting mistakes, or for changes in circumstances that could reasonably anticipated at the time of the last court order effecting timesharing or parental responsibility was entered.
Furthermore, a court cannot modify parental responsibility or timesharing unless each party had notice that the issue would be before the court. An issue commonly appealed is when a judge modifies timesharing or parental responsibility due to a parent being found in contempt of court on a timesharing issue. Generally speaking, unless a parent repetitively violates a timesharing order, it is improper to modify a timesharing order unless (1) the party seeking the modification filed a pleading requesting the modification and (2) the parent violated the timesharing order on multiple occasions to the point of causing harm to the child.
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