Modification of a Child Visitation Agreement in Virginia
Denying child visitation to the non-custodial parent is a serious legal matter and should not be taken lightly. Denial of child visitation without just cause or without a court order can have serious consequences such as a loss of custody, and is illegal. For example, failure to pay child support will not be a justifiable reason to deny a parent visitation with their child. Likewise, disliking your ex-spouse’s current romantic interest or the attendance of certain relatives you dislike will not be reason enough to terminate a child’s visitation with their parent. However, if you believe your child visitation agreement needs to be changed, contact the lawyers at our office to understand your options for a modification. If you believe visitation may place your child in immediate danger, contact your local authorities to file a police report then contact the attorneys at our firm to assist you in modifying your parental plan.
When Is Modification Appropriate
When modifying your child’s visitation agreement a judge will be focused on what is in the best interest of the child. If there has been a material change in circumstances that negatively affects what is in the best interest of your child since the last agreement was created, modification may be an option for you. The burden of proof will be on the parent seeking a change to the original agreement. Therefore, if you are the parent seeking a modification, document everything, as you will need to prove there are new material facts since your last agreement that warrant a modification.
An Intoxicated Parent And Child Visitation
If a parent arrives at your home to pick up their child for visitation and is clearly under the influence of drugs or alcohol you should not let him/her leave with the child as this would place the child in an immediately dangerous situation. If you believe the other parent is intoxicated, call the police so your denial of visitation is officially accompanied by a police report and not considered to be frivolous when you later seek to modify your agreement. It is important that you do this for the safety of the child and the protection of your custodial rights. However, if the court later believes you called the police without just cause in such a situation, it may negatively impact your efforts for a modification, so only contact the authorities if you are certain the other parent is intoxicated.
Other Reasons To Seek Modification Of A Child Visitation Plan
There are a variety of reasons that you may want to modify your original agreement. If one parent is involved in criminal activity or becomes a convicted felon since your last agreement was created, a judge may find there are grounds for a modification. Murder, attempted murder or an assault may also be used as a reason for modification. A judge may also deny or grant supervised visitation when physical or sexual abuse of the child is involved. Virginia courts rarely, if ever permanently end parental rights, as it is considered in the best interest for a child to have the love and presence of both parents in his or her life. However, if a judge finds that there are material changes that negatively impact your child, a modification may be issued.
Reach Out to Us for Help
Unjust denial of child visitation is illegal. However, if you feel your child’s best interest is not being served by your current agreement contact or call the family lawyers at Shannon & Bedois, P.C. at (757) 228-5529. Your child visitation agreement may be modified but this legal process is best done under the guidance of an experienced lawyer.