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Can I take my ex-husband back to court for issues that happened during our marriage in order to get the parenting plan revised?

Wasola, MO |

My ex-husband was extremely verbally and emotionally abusive during our marriage, as well as violent and physically abuse once or twice. Our daughter (will be 3 in January) has no relationship with him; he's seen her for 3 hrs this year, despite having supervised visitation rights as long as he works out of state. The divorce decree says that upon moving back to MO, he can start a graduated visitation plan. I did not bring up matters of abuse and violence in the divorce because I was embarrassed and didn't think I needed to. I've come to my senses, and I'm terrified that he moved back home last weekend and wants to start the graduated plan. My daughter is extremely intelligent and shy; she will be terrified if she's forced to go with him. Can I take him back to court?

Attorney Answers 2


The quick answer is that if abuse and neglect was not litigated in the prior action, it can be brought up. Unfortunately, it's rarely that simple.

If you file an action to modify your parenting plan and make the allegation of abuse or neglect AND the judge feels that your allegations are sufficiently serious to warrant the appointment of a guardian ad litem for your child, he or she will do that. A guardian ad litem is an attorney for the child and is tasked with determining what, if any, abuse or neglect has occurred and, if it has occurred, how likely is it to impact the minor child.

Since you already have a parenting plan that at least begins with supervised visits, you may want to consult with an attorney in your area to find out what the position of the judges in Ozark County is with regard to your issues regarding your child. And be prepared because you may need to let your ex-husband begin the visitation plan to find out how the relationship goes between your ex-husband and your child so that you can have current information to bring to the courts and your attorney.

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You can attempt to modify the visitation, but you cannot get a do over on the decree

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That's actually what I'm asking. I didn't word it very well, but I would like to know whether my chances of having the decree modified seem to be good or not.

Alan James Brinkmeier

Alan James Brinkmeier


You cannot get the decree modified. You may be able to get visitation modified.

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