The main issue that arises in Fairfax child custody cases is how to share time between two parents not living in the same place. Related to that are problems with decision-making for the children, like which school a child will attend and whether a particular medical procedure is appropriate. Issues can also arise relate to changes in the family of each parent. For example, if a parent should get remarried or have a new child, those are considerations in a custody case. A seasoned Fairfax child custody lawyer is knowledgeable in these issues and can offer proper legal guidance.

Circumstances of Issues

When a custody agreement has been made or a custody order has been entered and the children are still young, it is almost always the case that custody will need to be addressed again, and there will be some dispute that needs to be resolved in the future. If the original custody determination is made at the time that the children are teenagers, for example, it is not always the case that modifications will need to be made because schedules or circumstances may not change that much. However, there is a trend that parents who agree on initial custody parameters are more likely to modify custody in the future by agreement rather than through litigation.

Why Issues Occur

In an initial custody determination, there are often issues in Fairfax child custody cases because most of the time both parents have had the opportunity of seeing their children almost every day. It is often very difficult for any parent to envision not being able to see their children every morning when they get up and every night when they go to bed. These issues can become contested because they are emotional ones. Two adults who have children together are now being forced into a situation where neither of them is going to have the children all the time and that can be emotionally difficult.

Impact of Age of Child

Since the needs of children at different ages are different, the ages of children are going to impact almost everything to do with custody. For a very young child, like an infant or a toddler not yet in school, the preference as a primary custodian could potentially go to a parent who is at home more of the time because many times it is better for a child to be with a parent rather than with a third party that they do not know, such as a daycare.

As children get older and enroll in school, they may have certain extracurricular activities that can become an issue between parties. One parent may not want activities for the child scheduled on their time or one parent wants to be involved in every activity and wants to have the children during these times. There are lots of places for issues to arise in Fairfax child custody cases, and depending on the age of the child, the subject of the argument may change.

Scheduling Disagreements in Child Custody

It is often the case that both parents want to be classified as the primary physical custodian, which is another issue in Fairfax child custody cases. Beyond that, parties have disagreements about how to share summer vacation time with the children and how to divide up or alternate holiday time with the children. It can also happen that the parties cannot agree about the regular schedule. If there is an alternating weekend schedule, for example, there are disputes on what a weekend is. All sorts of issues can arise between parties related to the custodial schedule in a Fairfax child custody case.

Steps to Modify Issues

Custody can be modified by agreement of the parties. If both parents agree that a modification needs to happen and they can work out what kind of modification is appropriate, those parties can take that agreement to the court and have the court incorporate it into a new order. In the event that the parties do not agree on the new custodial arrangements or some particular pieces of a new custodial arrangement, those issues can be submitted to a court and the court can make a determination about modification of custody.