Asking the Court to Change a Parenting Time or Visitation Order

Produced by Attorney Jeff Wolf for MassLegalHelp
Created May 2016

If you are a parent and you need to ask the court to change a parenting time or visitation order, use

  • a Complaint for Modification and
  • the Affidavit Disclosing Care or Custody Proceeding.

If the other parent files a Complaint for Modification to change a parenting time or visitation order, file

  • an Answer and
  • the Affidavit Disclosing Care or Custody Proceeding.

In Sarah and Samuel's situation:

  • the parents are divorced,
  • the divorce judgment orders parenting time, but
  • the parent with parenting time has moved away.

Sarah and Samuel have a child named Diana. She is 10 years old. Sarah and Samuel got divorced 4 years ago. When they divorced, Samuel lived just a few miles away from Sarah and Diana.

The divorce judgment includes a parenting time order that says:

  • Samuel has parenting time every week from Thursday at 3pm until Saturday at noon, and
  • Samuel picks up Diana at school on Thursdays and Fridays, and takes her to school on Fridays.

Samuel has just remarried and moved to New Hampshire. He needs to change the parenting time. In his current situation, he is only able to have parenting time with Diana every other week. Also, because of the distance between where he now lives and where Sarah and Diana live, he wants the court to order that he and Sarah exchange Diana for parenting time at a point halfway between their homes.

Sarah has been counting on Samuel having parenting time every week and providing transportation because of her work schedule.

In this situation Samuel files a Complaint for Modification. See an example of the complaint he files. He must also file the Affidavit Disclosing Care or Custody Proceeding. This form tells the court if any other court is making decisions about your child.

Sarah would file an Answer to Complaint to Modification. See an example of Sarah's answer. She must also file her own Affidavit Disclosing Care or Custody Proceeding.

If you need to ask the court to change a parenting time or visitation order, use the Complaint for Modification form and the Affidavit Disclosing Care or Custody Proceeding.

If you need to file an answer, there is no official court answer form. Use Sarah's answer as a guide to write your own. Read Answering a Complaint in Probate and Family Court for more information.

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