One of the best ways we can show our children we love them is by spending time with them, and there is no amount of time that is ever “enough.” When divorcing, this can become one of the greatest struggles and heartaches to the non-custodial parent who is awarded only visitation rights. Almost all parents who have visitation rights would like to spend additional time with their children on certain occasions, or in some cases, whenever possible. However, if you are that non-custodial parent, you are all too aware that unless your ex agrees to the extended visitation you request, the only way to get any additional time is to petition the court for it. Petitioning the court for more visitation is not impossible, but you should be familiar of the rules surrounding such requests.
Do Not Violate the Court Order
Your desire for more time with your children may be completely justifiable. It might also be the case that your ex is acting in a wholly unreasonable manner and denying you something reasonable just to be spiteful. The worst thing you can do, however, is disregard the court-ordered visitation schedule and take extra time with your children. In fact, if you keep your children longer than you are supposed to keep them, you can almost guarantee your ex will become entrenched in his or her position and resist any attempts you then make to increase visitation time. The court will not take kindly to you flouting an order it entered and taking the law into your own hands.
What does this mean? If you want to increase your visitation rights, then it is critical you are always on time or early for pickup and drop off. If you are going to be late, keep in touch with your ex and keep a journal documenting the interactions that you can bring to court with you. Always respect what the court has already ordered until you request it be changed; by cooperating and honoring the court order, you will be helping yourself get your visiting agreement adjusted favorably.
What is the Legal Basis for Modification of Visitation?
Any parent has the legal right to challenge a visitation agreement that has been court-ordered any time they want. However, if the court is going to grant the change, you need a legitimate basis for seeking modification. Michigan follows the “child’s best interests” standard to make determinations of custody and parenting time. The parent seeking the modification must show a change in circumstances that warrants in the best interest of the minor children that a modification is necessary.
It is Important to Hire an Experienced Custody and Parenting Time Attorney
If you are trying to increase your visitation time, you will be best served by hiring a skilled
custody and parenting time attorney who will work hard to protect your rights and obtain the additional time with your child or children that you so desperately want.
If there is a significant change of circumstances and the best interests of your children so dictate, you might be entitled to modify the divorce decree regarding child custody, child visitation, or parenting time. Please schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced Bloomfield Hills child visitation and parenting time lawyer by calling us at 248-646-7980, emailing us, or filling out our intake form on our website. We are standing ready to help put your plans into motion and seek additional visitation time with your children.