Numerous challenges will inevitably arise when a couple that shares a child is no longer together. After parting ways, there will often be a child custody dispute regarding who will be the primary caregiver for the child. Even if there is a reasonable and amicable agreement when it comes to visitation rights, there can still be problems. If, for example, there is a vague order when it comes to parenting time or if one parent or the other seeks a child custody modification, it could lay the foundation for a custody dispute.
A vague order might only mention one parent having parenting time or visitation rights. When this happens, the parents would be well-served to discuss the matter and come to a more comprehensive and easily understood agreement. If that does not work, then it could be better to seek a legal modification. If modifications are sought due to the original agreement being vague, the court will often order mediation. Mediation can get the problems on the table and, if the couple is able to negotiate, an agreement can be altered to everyone’s satisfaction. The best interests of the child are paramount in any case.
With mediation, a third party who has no stake in the outcome will listen to the arguments from both sides. It is not required that the parties come to an agreement regarding modification through mediation, but this is frequently a way to come to a workable solution. When there is a change to visitation rights and custody agreements, it might also influence child support. A financial affidavit must be brought to court when the agreement the parties have come to through mediation is made official. In this affidavit, there will be a listing of incomes, assets, debts and other financial information.
Modification of parenting time can account for changes in the child’s development as he or she grows up. For example, there might be a time at which the child will be better off spending an extended period with the noncustodial parent. Of course, if there is an issue of abuse or other problems, modifications can be made for these reasons as well. Considering the number of different scenarios that can arise when a couple has a child and has parted ways, parenting time often comes up. Whether it is a contentious disagreement or a simple need to negotiate, having help from an attorney can help with the process.
Source: courts.state.co.us, “Connecting With Your Kids — Vague Orders for Parenting Time; Modifying Parenting Time; Other Reasons to Modify Parenting Time, pages 18-19,” accessed on April 26, 2016