How Can I Avoid A Child Custody Or Visitation Dispute With The Other Parent?
A child custody or visitation dispute could arise regardless of whether there is an order in place. If there is no order, the parties could try to find a family member or friend who could act as a mediator to help them resolve the dispute. If there is no third party whom both parties trust to act as a mediator, then the parties could hire a professional mediator. If it is an educational dispute, then the parties could seek the help of an educator; if it is a medical dispute, then the parties could seek the help of a medical professional.
If there is a court order in place and a dispute regarding some aspect of that order, then the parties should determine whether the order explicitly states that one or the other party has been granted that decision-making authority. Some orders contain provisions which dictate that one parent is responsible for a particular issue. Most decisions—and most disputes regarding which decision to make—deal with three areas of a child’s life: religious decisions, medical and dental decisions, and educational decisions. While there can also be disputes about parenting style, it is not generally something that can be imposed on the other parent. For example, one parent may decide that bedtime is eight o’clock and the other parent may decide that bedtime is nine o’clock; this is a matter of parenting style, and while it would be ideal for both parents to have the same or similar parenting style, this isn’t always the case.
Some orders state that one parent is responsible for making the decision if the parties cannot agree (i.e. a tiebreaker), while other orders may require that the parties have a meaningful consultation with one another before they deem that there’s a disagreement. In other words, a good faith effort to resolve the issue would have to be made. When the parties are unable to reach an agreement, it is often the custodial parent who makes the final decision.
There are situations in which the three areas of major decisions are split up. For example, one parent may have the final say on education, and the other parent may have the final say on medical decisions. If the party who has the right to make the final decision does so in a way that the other party views as contrary to the child’s best interests, then a party may file a petition to modify the order and present to the court reasons why the decision is not in the child’s best interest. For example, if the parent who has decision-making authority decides to send their child to boarding school and the other parent disagrees with that decision, then one or both parties may ask the court to make a decision. In general, it is in a child’s best interest to be in a safe, secure environment where both parents promote the well-being of the child, even if those parents can’t always get along.
What Is The Connection Between Child Support And Seeing My Children? Can I Stop Paying If The Other Parent Won’t Let Me See My Children?
In New York, child support and visitation are not connected; a failure of one parent to pay child support does not justify a withholding of the children by the other parent, and paying child support does not mean there is an automatic right to see the children.
If The Other Parent Has Failed To Make Child Support Payments, What Exactly Needs To Happen?
If child support payments are not being made, a violation petition can be filed with the court. The court would then need to determine whether the individual was willfully violating the order.
For more information on Child Support, Visitation & Custody, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (718) 737-9669 today.
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