But suddenly your ex-spouse isn't agreeing with some aspects of your custody and visitation agreement.
When Agreements Fall Apart
Here are a variety of ways that custody and visitation agreements can often fall apart.
- Your ex-spouse is repeatedly showing up late for visitation exchanges or missing them completely. Or she might be discouraging your children from spending time with you.
- If you and your ex-spouse share legal custody, you both have a right to be involved in major decisions relative to the education, health and welfare of your children. Excluding each other from key decisions means that you are violating your agreement.
- You are not allowed to attack your ex-spouse in front of the children, lie to the kids about their father or mother, or denigrate your ex-spouse. Causing your children to think negatively about your ex-spouse will affect the court's opinion of you.
- If you allege that your ex-spouse is being abusive to your children and those charges are false, you will put your own custody rights at risk.
- If you have a problem with substance abuse, you can expect to have your drug habit negatively impact your child custody and visitation rights
Back in Family Law Court
If you have to head back into court to work out a new visitation and custody agreement, there are several factors a judge might review.
To determine who will continue to have custody and visitation rights, the court may decide to look at issues that were previously determined, such as:
- The employment and income situation of each party.
- The reputation and character of both parents.
- A parent's physical ability to care for the child.
- The mental and emotional ability of each parent to care for the child.
- Special needs of the children.
- The status of the relationship between each parent and the children.
A judge may also revisit issues concerning the children. For example, a judge may also want to determine whether the child:
- Is well adjusted, healthy, well cared for, and happy.
- Is performing well at school.
- Has a good appearance and is practicing good age-appropriate grooming habits.
- Has a healthy support system of friends, playmates and family members at both households.
- The child has positive relationships with his or her step-siblings.
- The child gets along well with both parents.
If you're afraid of having your child custody and visitation rights reduced or taken away, be sure to talk with an experienced family law lawyer before agreeing to any new conditions.
Do you have questions about custody, guardianships, children's issues, or spousal support? If so, call me or schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of James V. Sansone at 707-623-1875 or contact me by email. You can find additional information on family law, children's issues, spousal support, domestic violence as well as a list of resources you'll find helpful on our website.