Knowledgeable Family Law Representation

Changing visitation orders in California

On Behalf of | Jan 13, 2022 | Child Custody |

When the court issues a visitation order, both the parents and the children may benefit from the resulting structure. Visitation orders also support the child’s safety, and a California court could mandate specific locations for visits or require supervised visits. Visitation orders may face changes when a compelling reason exists.

Altering existing visitation orders

Changes to any existing custody and visitation order require a formal process that centers on establishing a change in circumstances. Ultimately, the change requires reexamining and revising the order for the child’s best interests, not the parents’ best interests.

The court would not likely alter a visitation or custody decision for minor changes since doing so could be disruptive to the child’s life. Stability could factor heavily into the child’s mental and physical well-being.

Seeking changes to the original orders

A specific process exists for changing visitation schedule decisions. Parents wishing to do so must first complete a form titled a “Request for Order.” The document provides a box to check “visitation,” although the custodial parent could check “child custody” as well. The form provides a means to request a restraining order, too.

Errors, mistakes, and omissions on the form could cause problems. Reviewing the document to make sure it is complete and accurate might move things along more swiftly. Be aware that completing and submitting the document doesn’t change anything. Rather, the document sets things in motion for the eventual court date and ruling.

If the judge does not decide in the petitioner’s favor, there might be an option to file an appeal. For some, the initial motion to change the visitation decision could work in their favor, provided they present the necessary evidence to support the motion.