Branford Child Custody Issues
Even after an arrangement has been agreed upon, child custody issues often arise in Branford. People can only anticipate the future, which means that the custody arrangements only account for the expected circumstances, which in reality may differ greatly from the reality of the future. An experienced family law attorney can help create lasting arrangements and address problems as they arise.
The most common Branford child custody issues involve one parent not following the parenting plan, not making decisions of the best interest of the kids, not paying the child’s fund, and not co-parenting well. Other custody issues arise when a parent intentionally alienates the kids from the other parent, involves the kids in the divorce, involves the kids in the custody action, or uses the kids as a proverbial pawn in a dispute.
While there are cases in which one parent intentionally sabotages their custody agreement, that is less common.
Modifying an Arrangement
Once a custody arrangement has already been made in court, a parent has to file a motion to modify it. He or she will then be scheduled a court date and if the parents are able to reach an agreement before then, they would modify the existing agreement with the new terms on the hearing date. If there is still a disagreement by the date of the hearing, a judge makes the determination during the hearing.
A common child custody issue in Branford is scheduling disputes. Most scheduling disagreements typically revolve around vacations and holidays. Other common issues arise when one party drops the kids off late, does not show up with the kids, takes the kids out of state, fails to give the other parent vacation itineraries, and similar incidents.
Sometimes parents just do not follow court orders because they disagree with them or do not realize that they are orders, rather than guides. Moreover, some parents disregard child custody orders because of their anger at the other parent, which is manifested in their actions with the children.
The best way to avoid these issues is to try co-parenting counseling if the parties do not get along, anticipate difficulties co-parenting, or discover that they are struggling to co-parent. It is best not to use the court as a continuous resolution in custody cases.
The age of the child can impact how much input they have in their own lives. While the child’s wants will never be the only factor that is considered in a child custody case, an older child may have preferences on which parent she or he lives with. That will be considered by the court as long as there is no evidence that their preferences were impacted by a parent derailing the child’s relationship with the other parent.
In most jurisdictions, a child that is 12 or older can state their custody preferences. There is no set age limit on when a child’s voice will be considered if there is a third party involved.
If there is a guardian ad litem appointed or a family relations study, the child is typically interviewed, during which time the child will be questioned about their relationship with both parents. Generally, as long as a person has a third party person involved, these people will take into account what the child prefers when the child is able to reasonably verbalize her or his thoughts and feelings.
First and foremost in custody issues, everyone is concerned with the financial aspects, which can be complicated and confusing. A lawyer can help guide their client to understand what the non-custodial parent should be paying and what custodial parent party should be receiving.
Even if the custodial parent earns less than the other parent, both parents have a financial responsibility for their children. The non-custodial parent’s responsibility is statutorily set based on an income equation.
Working with an Attorney
A child custody lawyer can guide their client and help them understand what factors courts consider are in the best interest of the kids.
The most important advice an attorney can offer a client facing child custody issues in Branford is to keep a civil and amicable relationship between the parties. It is important to make an effort to co-parent with the other parent because, in the long run, it is going to make a transition from a two-parent household to one parent household easier for the child.
An experienced attorney can help prevent common Branford child custody issues before they arise, and work with families to address any issues that do.