Hiring an attorney who provides representation in the realms of child custody and support may become necessary years after a divorce is finalized. Several situations can lead to a parent petitioning for changes in custody, visitation, or the amount of support paid.
Even when parents agree on these changes, it's important to have a lawyer document the new arrangement with the court. That way, both individuals are protected if one of them ever decides the new arrangement is not working out. That parent cannot simply demand a return to the previous way of doing things.
One of the more common scenarios occurs when one parent wants to move relatively far away and bring the children. That can make shared physical custody or frequent in-person visitation impossible in the traditional sense. It's unlikely that the other parent can see the children every week if they now live several hours away.
In this situation, the parent who wants to move needs permission from the court if the current custody or visitation arrangement will be broken. The other may want to hire an attorney to attempt to block the move.
If the parent wishing to relocate has primary physical custody, a family court judge may be inclined to grant the request. Still, these judges strongly encourage liberal visitation, even if most of it is done digitally. Frequent contact with video chats is an example. The noncustodial parent should be welcome at events important to the son or daughter, such as graduations and band concerts.
Since custody attorneys are well aware of how family court judges think, they encourage clients to be reasonable when addressing these matters. Children are more prone to developing mental health issues if it seems as though a parent has abandoned them. If they later find out that their custodial parent has blocked efforts at communication and visitation, resentful feelings may develop.
A New Visitation Schedule
With the assistance of their attorneys, the parents can create a new schedule for birthdays, holidays, and other celebratory occasions. Visitation during vacation time from school should also be included.
Looking to the Future
It's advisable to consider how the situation will most likely change at some point. Years from now, the kids may no longer want to spend vacations and certain occasions away from their friends and usual activities. In contrast, sometimes a teenager decides he or she would rather move in with the noncustodial parent. Ideally, the parents will discuss these possibilities and arrive at a compromise that benefits the children.
For more information, contact a custody support attorney near you.