Visitation issues in custody arrangements

Custody issues in Florida and throughout the country can be complex, and they get more complicated when a parent moves out of town after the divorce has been finalized. This means new custody arrangements must be made through the court. The revised document may follow the standard child custody schedule for long distance, but it isn’t necessary to use that as a guideline. Each parent can devise provisions that benefit the situation by following some considerations.

When devising a new arrangement, it is advised to include the old documents. Adding new provisions to the old document and pre-planning for situations where one parent moves saves the trouble of going to court again. The schedule should also allow the out-of-town parent to visit the child. The visiting parent should not inconvenience the other parent and needs to provide advanced notice.

The non-custodial parent may try to seek sole custody of the child and argue why moving him or her is better. The custodial parent will need to prove why the child needs to stay in the area. The non-custodial parent could convince the judge, but it usually only works if the other parent gets the judge to agree that it is best for the child. When deciding these cases, judges often consider stability since a disruption is stressful for children even with a good reason.

The age of the child should factor in the schedule. For example, a teenager or pre-teen may be better equipped to ride a bus or plane solo than an 8-year-old. Arrangements can be modified as children get older.

Travel expenses could dictate how arrangements are made, and judges may rule for parents sharing expenses. However, the custodial parent does not have to agree with the division of expenses. The custodial parent may argue that the parent moving is the one causing extra expenses.

Sometimes, the custodial parent refuses to give visitation rights, or the non-custodial parent will not comply. In these cases, a divorce lawyer may be able to resolve things for them without going to court.

FindLaw Network