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Court Discusses Modification of Visitation Schedule

A married couple who resided in New York filed for a divorce and was granted a decree of divorce in January 18, 1980. The decree or divorce granted the custody of their common child to the wife while giving the husband a visitation schedule.

A New York Family Lawyer said the father took full advantage of his visitation rights and cultivated a good relationship with their daughter despite the divorce. The child also began a close relationship with her grandparents on her mother’s and father’s side.

Sometime in 1987, the mother applied for a modification of the visitation schedule in the divorce decree. The mother claimed that she has obtained employment in Tennessee and would like to relocate there with her child.

The father vigorously opposed the modification of the visitation schedule in the divorce decree. A hearing was conducted by the family court and on January 2, 1987, it granted the mother’s application for a modification of the visitation schedule.

The father appealed and the only question before the Court is whether or not the family court erred in granting the modification of the visitation schedule.

The Court reversed the order of the family court and denied the application of the mother.
The Court held that the general policy in the law is to preserve the rights of the noncustodial parent so as to have regular access to his child. A New York Custody Lawyer said to preserve the rights of the noncustodial parent, it will deny an application to modify the visitation schedule in the divorce decree.

The rationale behind this policy is that both the rights of the noncustodial parent and the child will be affected by any modification of the visitation schedule. The best interests of the child of the divorced are served when she benefits from the nurture and guidance of both her parents. When the parent who has custody is allowed to relocate to another locality, the child will lose the guidance and nurture of both her parents.

An exception to this general policy is when there are exceptional circumstances that are proven. There is an exceptional circumstance when the presence of the noncustodial parent in the life of the child is inimical to the welfare of the child. A Nassau County Family Lawyer said there is also an exceptional circumstance when the noncustodial parent has forfeited his right to visit his child. There is also an exceptional circumstance when the custodial parent has proven that there is an urgent concern for the welfare of the child or the custodial parent.

The Court admitted that legal issues involving child custody and child visitation are among the most difficult to resolve because the future of children is at issue. The Court held that each case for child visitation must be determined on a case to case basis.

In this particular case, the Court held that the father has not forfeited his right to visitation. On the other hand, the Court has also held that the evidence presented shows that the mother applied for the modification of the child visitation in good faith; she has shown that her purpose in asking for the modification of the visitation scheduled was to make their financial status better but she failed to show that there are compelling reasons to remove the child away from her father and from her grandparents. A Queens Family Lawyer said she failed to prove that she will have a permanent job or housing in Tennessee. She also failed to prove that she stands to lose her job in New York. There are no exceptional circumstances that will justify a deviation from the visitation schedule.

Are you like the father in this case? Is your ex-wife planning to relocate with your children? Do you feel the need to oppose your ex-wife’s plans? Consult the New York City Child Visitation Lawyers from Stephen Bilkis and Associates. A New York Child Visitation Attorney can help you present evidence to oppose your ex-wife’s application for a modification of the visitation schedule. Our legal team can help prove that there are no exceptional circumstances that merit a modification of the visitation schedule.

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