Successfully parenting with an ex–spouse can be tricky, especially when a couple did not necessarily end things on good terms. While most parents in Alabama certainly do their best to manage things like child custody and support regardless of what happened during divorce, problems can and do arise. One issue that parents struggle with is what to do when another parent is not holding up his or her end of either a custody or support order.
Support vs. custody
For example, consider a parent who pays child support and has visitation with his or her child. When a parent in this situation feels as if the current visitation is not enough parenting time, he or she may decide to withhold support payments in an effort to get more time. However, child custody and child support are two separate matters that rarely have any bearing on one another. If a parent wants more time with his or her child it is best to speak directly with the other parent or to petition the court for a modification of the current custody order.
Managing legal custody
It is quite common for parents in Alabama to share legal custody even if they do not share physical custody. This means that both parents have a roughly equal say in important matters in their child’s life. However, parents who are still in conflict with one another might struggle to agree on decisions, sometimes even purposely violating previous agreements to make a point. While this can feel vindicating in the moment, it is important that neither parent obstructs decisions regarding a child’s:
- Health care
For some parents these things might be easier said than done. Speaking directly with an ex might be altogether out of the question, too. When issues with child custody and support arise, it is often better for these parents to petition the court for any necessary modifications.