Modifying a Custody Order
If a party wants to change a prior custody or visitation order, the party may file a motion to modify custody or visitation. To prevail, the party must show the court that there has been a substantial change in circumstances which affects the welfare of the child and that modification of the order is in “the best interests of the child.”
A court order providing for the custody or visitation of a child is enforceable through contempt proceedings. This rule applies as well to custody and visitation provisions in a separation agreement that has been incorporated into a later divorce decree. A party moving for contempt must show the court that the opposing party willfully violated the order and had the present ability to comply with the order.