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Case Number: 2023 WY 11
Judge: Bobbi Dean
Court: District Court, Weshakie County, Wyoming
Description: Worland, Wyoming family law lawyers represented the parties in a custody and visitation case.
In 2019, the Beldens, the grandparents of the children of their deceased son, were granted visitation after their relationship with Nicole soured. In 2022, Andy the children's stepfather, adopted the children. Thereafter, the Wards informed the Beldens that they would no longer comply with the order of grandparent visitation. The Beldens filed a motion to enforce the visitation order, and the Wards filed a petition to modify the visitation order. The district court (1) held the Wards in contempt for their failure to comply with the original visitation order; and (2) modified the Beldens' visitation after finding that good cause existed to amend the order.
Outcome: [¶42] The stipulated grandparent visitation order survived Mr. Ward’s adoption of CWB and DB and Mr. Ward was not free to relitigate the claims addressed in that order. Precluding him from relitigating those claims does not violate his due process rights. Instead, he and his wife had a right to petition to amend or revoke that order under § 20-7-101(d), although they were not entitled to the parental presumption in those proceedings. In those proceedings, the Wards were required to demonstrate that good cause existed to revoke or modify the original order, and while they demonstrated that there had been a material change in circumstances, they failed to show that the order should be revoked. The modified order fairly addressed the concerns the Wards raised at trial and the district court did not abuse its discretion by failing to give the Wards the visitation schedule they preferred.