Motion to Modify Custody


I have sole legal custody of my children by court order; my former spouse has visitation. The visitation schedule was created when the non-custodial parent and I lived in the same school district. It is as follows: an evening visit each Thursday from 4 pm until 8 pm, and every other weekend, starting from Thursday at 4 pm until Monday morning at the start of school. However, 2 years ago my former spouse relocated within the state about 4.5 hours away. Despite my objections, she has, from time to time, picked the children up on Thursday at 3 pm and taken them back to her new home, causing them to skip school on Fridays. Also, she gets them up around 2:30 am on Monday morning to drive them back the 4.5 hours to get them to school (usually late). My children have expressed that they do not like this, but she does not respond to my requests to bring them back Sunday night so they don’t have to travel in the early morning hours.

My second problem is related to summer visitation. According to the court order, I am to select four weeks for vacation and afterward, the non-custodial parent selects four weeks. However, the non-custodial parent sometimes extends her visit beyond her week, taking a day off of my next week of vacation time, and refusing to respond to my demands that the children be returned to me properly.

I intend to file a Motion to Modify Custody pro se. To correct the first problem, my request will be to 1) eliminate Thursday visits, and 2) change the visitation schedule to Fridays from 3pm to Sundays at 7pm. To correct the summer problem, my request will be to remove the “8 nights” error and clarify that a week of vacation consists of 7 days / 7 nights.

My first question is this: because my former spouse has repeatedly violated my summer visitation time, can I include a request in the Motion to Modify that she be held in contempt for violating the order? Or must it be filed in a separate motion? It is not necessarily my desire to have her held in contempt, but I am certain that she will continue to violate the court order even after the motion to modify is complete. My second question is this: as this is an ongoing problem right now because of summer, when my ex wife does not return my children to me on the correct day, should I try to file a report with the police to document the problem? I don’t know if police even take such reports.

I don’t know if this matters or not, but I am also currently working through Child Support Enforcement to hold her in contempt for refusing to pay a single dollar of court ordered child medical support for the past 5 years. The reason I have not pursued this in the past is because it is for medical care support that has not exceeded $3,000 and the cost of an attorney would have eaten up what I might have gotten back from her. I only learned of the CSE assistance option recently.



You can file a separate motion for contempt, and have the motion put on the calendar for the same day as your motion for modification of child custody so the judge can hear both matters at once.

You can get access to a library of legal forms and communicate with an attorney through our Rosen Online Service. This service only costs $199/month, and would be a great resource for you to handle your custody issues without retaining an attorney.