Exterior of the offices of Sevila Saunders Huddleston & White PC
Professional Service.
Engaged In The Community.

How to navigate a custody dispute with a former spouse

Once couples separate and no longer live together, they may start encountering challenges regarding their shared responsibilities to their children. Parents who have minor children usually share parenting time and financial responsibility for their children. When they do, they ultimately need to find ways to agree about issues like healthcare and school enrollment and must do their best to cooperate for the sake of their children.

Disputes are likely to arise between coparents, especially when they share different values or have different expectations about their division of parenting responsibilities. Yet, shared custody arrangements in Virginia typically require that parents cooperate with one another. How can coparenting adults settle a dispute most effectively when they share custody in Virginia?

They may require outside help

Some divorced couples will find that connecting with a therapist is a smart move for their families. When the decline of the marital relationship has made it difficult for parents to work with and support each other, disagreements are more likely to arise and spiral out of control.

A therapist who specializes in coparenting relationships can help parents navigate a specific disagreement with each other and can also help former spouses learn new communication and conflict management skills.

They may need to change their parenting plan

The terms included in a parenting plan can play a major role in how couples resolve their disputes. A judge could change their parenting plan to give one parent more decision-making authority in a specific area or to increase the parenting time of a parent who previously had fewer days with the children. Such changes could potentially prevent disputes in the future and resolve an ongoing conflict between the parents.

In some cases, it may be an enforcement action rather than a modification that could resolve the custody issue. When one parent has failed to abide by the custody term set by the Virginia family courts, enforcement actions could compel them to comply.

Sometimes, what parents most need is a little bit of time and space to decompress and reevaluate the situation. Having rules in place for custody disputes, such as imposing a cooling-off period after an argument and communicating in writing, can go a long way toward helping families that may regularly face custody-related disagreements.

A full-service firm dedicated to helping the community for more than
40 years