What Are Custody Schedules?
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What Are Custody Schedules?
Custody schedules provide guidelines and requirements for parents who are involved in joint or shared child custody arrangements. These schedules are generally determined in a family law court and approved by a judge into a court order. They may be formulated as a result of divorce/separation proceeding or through a separate request.
A custody schedule will generally state information such as:
- The names of the children, parents or guardians involved
- Contact information of all the parties
- Descriptions of the rights and time periods that each parent has in terms of custody (for instance, every Wednesday, every weekend, every third week). A common scheme is an alternating custody arrangement (i.e. custody changes every week or two weeks).
- Specific instructions such as whether the custody/visitation needs to be supervised, etc.
Thus, the custody schedule is often treated somewhat like a calendar which the parties can refer to. It helps to finalize and solidify the custody arrangement that was reached in court. This helps keep things fair between the parents and also helps to serve the child’s best interests. Custody schedules can also involve other aspects besides custody, such as visitation.
Can Custody Schedules Be Changed?
Absolutely. Court-issued custody schedules can be subject to frequent change or modification as needed. A formal request must be submitted to the court to have the modification enforced. Custody schedules can be changed due to factors such as:
- Changes in the child’s needs
- Changes in the availability of either parent
- One of the parents has relocated or will be relocating
- Changes in the financial or economic background of one of the parents/guardians
- Changes in child custody laws, guidelines, or requirements
What Are the Legal Penalties for Violating a Custody Order?
Court-ordered custody schedules are enforceable under law. Violating a custody order can result in legal penalties such as: contempt orders; fines; loss or reduction of custody rights; various other consequences. In some cases, a custody violation can also result in criminal consequences. This can happen for instance in cases where parent has kept the child against their will or has transported them in a manner that is unauthorized.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Custody Schedules?
Child custody schedules are an important aspect of many family arrangements. You may need to hire a family lawyer if you have any questions, legal concerns, or inquiries regarding child custody schedules. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice and can represent you in court if you need to make an appearance.
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Last Modified: 07-21-2014 06:15 AM PDT
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