Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Visitation Interference as Grounds to Modify Custody
Yesterday, the Mississippi Court of Appeals decided Strait v.Lorenz. The opinion is located here. The issue in the case dealt with when extreme visitation interference justifies modifying custody. There was expert testimony that the child was adversely affected by unsubstantiated abuse allegations along with the Father's interference and outright denial of visitation. The Court of Appeals found that the trial court properly modified custody. Couple of points to look at. To me, if you are making this claim there needs to be an expert witness involved. The best bet in this situation may be to get a court-appointed expert. Be aware, insurance will normally not cover this. The other item is that a number of the Albright factors were found to be neural or favoring the mother because of the abuse allegations which were unfounded. This along with the cases cited in the opinion to me stand for the proposition that equity can negate Albright factors where a parent is clearly favored. Also, you may want to look at continuity of care on this case. I have been noticing a trend that the Appellate courts are getting more receptive to the argument that continuity of care consists more of what you do for a child as opposed to just having them more of the time.