If you file for divorce in a Virginia court, the judge overseeing your case will issue a decree. This might come after mediated sessions between you and your spouse or once litigation is resolved. Either way, your ultimate goal is likely to achieve a fair and agreeable settlement that keeps your children’s best interests in mind. If your spouse is probably going to have custody of the kids, you might be a bit worried about your new role as a non-custodial parent.
Many other Virginia parents are currently going through similar experiences. People might automatically think of child support problems and constant disagreements between parents when they think of non-custodians. However, that is often far from the reality because many parents try their best to get along and work together for their children’s sake. They know their children will fare best if they put forth a team effort. There are several things to keep in mind that can help you avoid non-custodial parent problems.
Once the court issues an order, you must adhere
You and your spouse may want to develop the terms of your own co-parenting agreement. That’s fine in most cases although it pays to seek the court’s approval and to get everything legally documented in case problems arise down the line.
If the judge issues a court order, you and your spouse must adhere to it to a tee. Even if you both agree to a change, you can’t legally change anything without going back to court and requesting modification.
This is especially important for visitation
There may be numerous important topics covered in your court order. If one of them is an incorporated visitation schedule, as the non-custodial parent, you’ll want to make sure you do exactly what the court order says. It’s not acceptable to simply not show up on a scheduled visit day.
No one likes a deadbeat parent
You’ve likely read stories in the news about parents who were supposed to pay child support but never send payments. The court can legally enforce a child support order. If a non-custodial parent doesn’t make payments on time, the court can hold him or her in contempt.
Tap into local resources for support
Maybe you have a close friend or relative who recently went through divorce. If any of them are non-custodial parents, you might find you can relate to their situations.
You no doubt disagree with your ex from time to time; otherwise, you might still want to be married. That doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to resolve custody, visitation or support issues if they arise. Those who aren’t afraid to reach out for support when needed can be confident that they will find fair solutions to even the most complex problems.