When two parents become divorced, custody of the children is usually given to one of the parents or the other. Visitation hours will then be set up for the parent who does not have custody. How does a change in your job hours affect your visitation rights?
Ideally, when custody of the children is set up, the relationship between the custodial and non-custodial parent will remain civil. In that case, visitation hours by the non-custodial parent can be informally arranged between the two parents as they see fit, and modified as circumstances change.
It should be noted that the schedule of the parent who has custody of the children carries more weight in deciding visitation hours, even if the visitation hours are informal. The childrens’ best interests are always what is considered to be primary in such events. Courts are interested in providing a stable environment for them.
However, if the court considers it to be a necessity, it will arrange fixed visitation hours for the non-custodial parent. Usually this occurs when there is some question as to whether the custodial parent will allow visitation. The visitation hours are court-ordered, which means that if the custodial parent denies access to the children, it can be enforced in court. If the non-custodial parent deliberately overstays his or her scheduled visiting time, this can also be enforced in court.
Sometimes things happen in the course of ordinary life that make it difficult or impossible for a non-custodial parent to observe the court-ordered visitation schedule. A change in job hours is certainly an understandable reason. However, because the visitation hours were fixed in court, they can only be changed in court.
A change in job hours can also affect the amount of child support a parent will have to pay.
State laws vary with regard to child custody and support. Because of the important legalities involved, if your job hours have changed in a way that will affect your visitation schedule, you should contact a family lawyer. He will advise you on the correct legal process for your situation.
Ann A. Thomson’s Orange County office is poised to serve you and your family with any matter pertaining to divorce and family law. Feel free to contact us online anytime or call 562-431-4333 for your free initial consultation with an experienced and proficient California Family Law attorney.