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Family Access Motions

Family access motions are motions filed with the court when custody is denied, or visitation is being interfered with by the other parent. Family access motions are statutory in nature so keep in mind that while Missouri provides this relief; other states may not.

You must have an already existing custody order in place before you can file a Family access motion. If you do not yet have a custody order, then you cannot file a Family access motion.

To file a Family access motion, you must have a copy of your existing custody order. There is no filing fee associated with filing a family access motion although there is a service fee. Service fees vary by county and you must file the Family access motion in the county where your custody order was entered.

Keep in mind that Family access motions do not change or modify your existing custody order. Family access motions are primarily used for makeup time and/or ordering a parent who is interfering with custody or visitation rights to comply with the existing custody order.

Typical examples include one parent denying phone contact to the other or one parent not providing information related to the minor child’s health, education and welfare to the other parent. The parent filing a Family access motion typically complains, “I do not want to change our current order; I just want the other parent to follow the order.” If this sounds like you then a Family access motion is the appropriate course of action for you.

You can file a Family access motion on your own without the assistance of an attorney. However, keep in mind not everyone is comfortable or capable of completing legal documents on their own. You may need to seek out the help of an attorney.

Once you have completed the Family access motion please know that you must make arrangements to serve the other party with a copy of the Family access motion. Some clients file the Family access motion on their own but then seek out an attorney to represent them at the actual hearing on the Family access motion. They may arrange for service or they may ask the attorney to help them with arranging service on the other party.

The relief typically granted in a Family access motion is makeup visitation, counseling with the minor child, and/or attorney’s fees. Remember that you cannot change the terms of your custody order in a Family access motion. If you want to change or modify your existing custody order then you should speak with an attorney about filing a Motion to Modify Custody or Visitation. If you need help completing your Family access motion form before you file it with the court yourself, having an attorney represent you at a Family access motion hearing, or consulting with an attorney about changing your custody order please contact us today.