After a judge makes a custody/visitation order, one or both parents may want to change the order. Usually, the judge will approve a new custody and visitation order that both parents agree to. If the parties agree, the order can be modified without a formal hearing. A Stipulation and Order can be prepared and submitted to the Judge for signature, and the new order becomes into effect once processed by the court.
If the parents cannot agree on a change, one parent can ask the court for a change. This is done through a motion process that requires a court hearing and sometimes “mediation.” The parent seeking the modification will need to present facts sufficient to the court to prove that there is a change in circumstances, potential harm to the children or other good reason to change the order. Both parents will meet with an assigned mediator to talk about why the order should be changed prior to the scheduled hearing.