Before you can move on past your divorce, you and your spouse must establish the right parenting time agreement. Perhaps he or she has lost sight of everything that is at stake with the children now that the marriage is ending. Amidst the negotiations and changes in living arrangements, he or she may seem so preoccupied with living a new life that structuring the parenting time with the kids in mind has gone out the window.
Fortunately, the courts want to protect and enforce your children’s rights in the divorce. Though a judge’s job is to authorize parenting time and custody orders that best serve your children, he or she will make allowance for your needs, as well, as long as these align with your kids’ needs. To achieve balance after the court finalizes the divorce, consider the following factors about parenting time agreements and child support.
Ability to pay child support does not affect parenting time obligations
The law protects the rights of noncustodial parents, even when they fall behind in paying child support. Many parents keep their exes from seeing their kids when they fail to pay, but doing so is against the law and a noncustodial parental right violation.
Compliance with custody and support orders is essential for both you and your ex. Although you cannot force your ex to comply by refusing to let him or her see the kids, you can file a motion for enforcement with the Friend of the Court.
Hardship and life events qualify for modification
The custody orders are legally binding. But, major life events such as a serious ailment or job loss can have a significant impact on a parent’s income, lifestyle and ability to help raise the children.
The law does allow child support and parent time modifications. If your ex’s primary issue arises from circumstances that he or she cannot change, modifying the agreement may make it possible for him or her to continue to provide emotional and financial support for the kids in a way that reflects the new situation.