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Custody orders are not suggestions, they’re legally binding

If you are like most parents who share custody of a child, you probably find that your custody order is not very convenient, at least some of the time. The realities of juggling work responsibilities, parenting privileges and duties, and other demands on our time can make sticking to a custody order annoying at the very least, and often leads to one or both parents operating outside of the custody schedule.

Sometimes, it is simply not possible to abide by a custody order completely. Medical emergencies, family difficulties and work crises are not always manageable and may require you to give your child's other parent some flexibility or ask for it in return. This is normal, but it is not a pattern you should fall into regularly. If you treat a custody order causally, you may find yourself in contempt of court.

Courts take custody orders very seriously and expect parents to obey them. You may think that it is fine to have an under-the-table agreement with your child's parent to operate by your own custody arrangement, but this is not a wise plan. If you do violate the custody order repeatedly, the other parent can use this against you to gain more parenting privileges and accuse you of poor parenting.

If you find that your custody order is not possible to obey because of changes in your life circumstances, you should consider seeking an official modification. Courts recognize that we all face unexpected obstacles and life changes and can alter your custody order to something more manageable if you follow proper procedures. A strong legal strategy can help you obtain a custody arrangement that truly fits your needs while keeping your rights secure and the needs of your family protected.

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  1. Charles W. Dobbins, Jr.

    Charles earned his J.D. degree from the University of Virginia in 1974

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    Mark W. Dobbins

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    Patrick T. Schmidt

    Patrick earned his B.S. in Accounting from the University of Kentucky in 1989.

    He earned his J.D. from the University of Kentucky in 1992.

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    Terrence L. McCoy

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    Elizabeth M. Jenkins

    Colgate University, B.A., Political Science, magna cum laude, 1983

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