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Get a Formal Custody Modification, Not Just an Informal One

After going through a divorce or other formal legal custody proceedings, you could probably go a lifetime without ever having to deal with the legal system again. It’s understandable. The logistics and other hoops to jump through can be off-putting, but there are formal legal procedures in place for a reason. Following such official protocols put legally binding, formalized documents in place that work to protect your rights as a parent. After formalized custody arrangements are put in place, however, some parents find that different arrangements suit their lives and schedules better. They then fall to informal custody arrangements that are different from those formal ones previously established. This can be a problem for a number of reasons.

Get a Formal Custody Modification, Not Just an Informal One

Sure, informal custody modifications, such as oral agreements between you and your co-parent, may seem faster, more convenient, and maybe cheaper than going to get a formal custody modification, but this can create big, expensive, and stressful problems for you both; all of which could be avoided with a formal modification. Because of what is at stake in complying with a formal custody arrangement, should you need a modification, it can be best to take official avenues to get this established.

If you have worked with your co-parent and came to a custody arrangement that works best for you both as well as your child, then this is great. Collaboration can be a critical component to successful co-parenting. That being said, informal agreements open the door for many problems down the road. They also leave you at the mercy of the whims of your ex. When you have reached an informal agreement with your ex, they could change their mind at any moment and there would be no formal enforcement mechanism for you to hold them to their word.

Furthermore, when you have only an informal agreement in place with your co-parent, it exposes you to potentially serious legal consequences. When you are following an informal agreement, you are likely in violation of the formal custody arrangement previously established. If you informally agree to take your kids at times when they should be with the other co-parent, and that co-parent changes their mind or becomes vindictive for one reason or another, they could call and report you as violating the formal custody arrangement.

On top of these legal ramifications you could face, you could also end up paying more in child support than you need to if you follow an informal custody arrangement as opposed to a formal one. After all, parenting time is a significant factor in the child support calculation. If you are spending more time with the children than has been accounted for in the child support calculation, you may very well be paying more child support than you need to. By getting a formal custody modification in place, you can have the child support calculation reevaluated to accurately reflect parenting time.

Florida Family Law Attorneys

Do you need assistance with a custody modification? You can trust the family law team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou to help you successfully navigate this process. Contact us today.