Family Access (Visitation)

A person may file a family access motion if a court order of custody or visitation is denied or interfered with without good cause. The motion must state specific facts that establish a violation of specific visitation periods set forth in the court order. An order for "reasonable" visitation may not be specific enough for a family access motion to be appropriate.

How to File a Family Access Motion

The Circuit Clerk will provide forms and explain the filing procedures. A filing fee is charged for filing the motion. There is also a fee for serving notice on other persons entitled to notice of the motion.

Dispute Resolution

Family access disputes are scheduled for a mediation-arbitration ("Med-Arb") session. A dispute resolution professional will meet with the parents to engage in mediation, continuing as arbitration if parents are unable to resolve the issues themselves. Arbitration rulings may be advisory in nature or parents can agree to binding arbitration. Parents who do not reach resolution have the option of a court hearing to address the dispute.

A court that grants the motion can impose any of the following remedies:

  • Hold the violator in contempt.
  • Order compensatory visitation not less than the time denied.
  • Order the violator to obtain counseling or pay counseling between child & petitioner.
  • Require the violator to post security for future compliance.
  • Assess a fine of $500 (paid to the state).
  • Grant movant’s attorney fees and court costs.

Topics of Interest

Forms

Family Access Forms

Disclaimer: Pleadings (petitions & answers) are usually customized for each case. Some providers offer to prepare pleadings for a fee. Care is needed to make sure the forms you download and/or purchase meet all the state and circuit requirements. There are a number of situations where the way you plead your case may waive or affect your rights. Standard purchased forms are a risk for this reason. Some standard forms required by the court can be found on court websites.

For more information, call Family Court Services at 816-736-8400.