Once a couple has agreed to a shared custody arrangement that suits them and their children, they expect to adhere to the agreement without much difficulty. Though it takes time for children to get used to living in a single-parent household, and the non-custodial parent has to learn how to cope with seeing his or her children with less frequency, usually custody agreements remain unchanged as the children grow up. However, there are times when a custody agreement that was established with the best of intentions on the part of both adults is difficult to maintain due to changes or unforeseen events. Understanding ways to handle custody agreement problems can aid you in situations in which you and your ex-spouse feel that a modification is necessary.
Discuss the Problem Openly
Even if you and your ex-spouse have talked about visitation problems in passing, you both need to have an extensive conversation about the problem prior to action being taken. Situations change and at times custody agreements are made based on unrealistic expectations. A custody agreement that includes midweek visitations for a toddler may become problematic once the child starts attending school. Also, one or both parrents may have job changes that restrict their time, require more travel, or otherwise affect planned visitation. Both parties need to discuss what they feel the problems are to make sure they are both on the same page and work together to come up with acceptable modifications.
Involve Your Children
When children are old enough to participate in discussions, let their voices be heard. A child may not like a certain visitation arrangement if it interferes with extracurricular activities, educational needs (tutoring, therapy, etc.), or school trips. Though ultimately the parents must have a final say in the arrangements, involving children will help avoid possible resentment. A child who is not happy with a visitation schedule may refuse to leave with their non-custodial parent or otherwise cause problems during the non-custodial parent’s time. In most cases a child who feels involved will be more willing to accept the schedule without complaint.
Talk to a Lawyer
No matter how good things are between you and your ex-spouse, it is important that you legally modify your custody agreement. Trusting that your former spouse will work with you could create trouble in the future. Disputes regarding custody violations are often time consuming, expensive, and have the ability to impact future visitation agreements. Discussing your situation with a skilled child custody attorney and having your court order modified will protect you while securing your parental rights.
Vayman and Teitlebaum
Going through a divorce that involves the custody of a minor child is difficult and often extremely time consuming. The assistance of a qualified attorney can help you preserve your parental rights and make sure the final agreement is in the best interest of your child. The child custody attorneys at Vayman and Teitlebaum are able to help you during this time by providing you with the representation you deserve. With four offices located throughout the Atlanta Metro area, we are able to provide you with the assistance you need. Contact us today at (678) 736-7700 to discuss your situation and schedule a consultation.