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Once a judge makes a ruling concerning visitation, can it be changed?

Saint Peters, MO |

My ex husband was given every other weekend, every Wednesday evening, shared holidays and 2 weeks a year consecutive in our court papers. Which I am fine with. However, he lives out of state (700 miles away), he is NOT happy with the visitation he was awarded. So he is wanting to take me back to court. He was already denied a rehearing. But he now says that he's taking me to mediation. If I am happy with the judges ruling, do I have to go to mediation? I am not wanting to change anything. It isn't my fault that he doesn't live here in town. He has been a horrible father for years. And isn't even interested in actually being WITH his kids. He just wants to hurt me by taking the kids out of state. He is an extremely verbally abusive man. I don't want my kids there. Can his visitation change?

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Attorney answers 2


Courts in Mo always have power to change visitation, custody , support or issues that deal with the children. After the first order a joint agreement is best, cheapest and easiest on the emotions. That is not always something that can be arranged.
Either party may file a motion to modify stateing reasons and what they want changed. Then if matter can't be settled as you go along you will have a trial. You don't have to go to mediation and if you do , you don't have to agree to anything. I receive the ;mediator's report lots of times that simply says partied unable to agree. You need to see a lawyer and review the parenting plan and what you want to do and plan a strategy as to how you will handle the case.


Missouri courts always have the option of changing custody AFTER they have heard sufficient evidence of two things:
a) there has been a substantial and continuous change in circumstances with the children since the Judge last ruled on custody; AND
b) making a change in custody is in the children's best interests.

Your question starts off implying that dad is wanting to take you back to Court and that he wants to give mediation a try. St. Charles County is home to several top-notch mediators and, if the schedule should be changed or you agree with changing it, the mediator can help that process more affordably than two private attorneys. They do not represent anyone in the case -- they are there to help you two compromise.

You end your question stating that dad is a horrible father and a verbally abusive man. If there have been any changes in how he cares for the children and you feel the time is right to modify the visitation and/or custody provisions - you have a right to do so as well.

I also highly recommend that you hire a lawyer who practices regularly in the County where your custody order is on file. I wish you and your family the best of luck,

Benicia Livorsi
The Family Law Group, LLC

I am a licensed attorney practicing in the St. Louis/ St. Charles, Missouri areas. Our firm's answers to questions posted on this site are for general informational purposes. There is NO attorney client relationship between the person posting the questions and our law firm - The Family Law Group, LLC. Required disclaimer: The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements. This website, or other legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Please contact a Missouri Attorney for a consultation on your particular divorce matter. Our answers are not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the state of Missouri, unless litigation is occuring in Missouri.

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