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What are some common custody and visitation issues?

For Florida parents splitting apart, one of the biggest issues to address is who gets the kids. That issue can produce months of angst and emotion. But once a decision has been made, it is clear sailing from there -- right? Not necessarily. Keep reading for some common issues that pop up long after child custody has been determined.

One issue is when the non-custodial parent does not feel like they are getting enough time with the kids. When those feelings arise, some parents feel tempted to stop making their support payments until they get the time they feel is fair. Is that a good idea? No. To the contrary, it will likely do more harm than good because visitation and child-support payments are not tied together. Making payments on time does not increase visitation; failing to make payments does not decrease visitation. But failing to make payments is likely to irritate a judge, and that can lead to some unhappy repercussions for you.

Another issue is a parent who does not closely comply with the child-custody order. They may show up late for pickups and handoffs. They may miss them altogether. How should the punctual parent handle the tardiness and delays? Begin by diagnosing the problem; try to figure out why the other parent cannot make the times set out by the child-custody agreement. Sometimes the other parent will have good reasons like work conflicts. If so, modifying the arrangement can solve the problem. But if the other parent has no good excuses and either will not or has not fixed the problem, then document the problem and then bring it to the court. When doing so, focus on how the other parent's erratic behavior affects the kids.

A third scenario is a parent who does not pull their own weight. For example, the parents may share custody, but only one parent is handling basic tasks like doing the kids' laundry, taking them shopping for clothes and school supplies and so on. Like the previous situation, the first step is dialogue. Talk to the other parent to see if there is a good reason. If dialogue does not do the trick within a few weeks, then document the situation and go to court with a request that the court require the other parent to pull their own weight.

To learn more about how to handle the aftermath of a child-custody determination, Floridians may benefit from speaking with an experienced family-law attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Custody or Visitation Interference," Accessed Oct. 19, 2015

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