Question about children

Dear Scott:

The first thing that I note is that you are planning a review in January. So, what happens if you cannot agree to change the custody arrangement in January? You will then have to file a child custody claim in the county where you live. I would continue to ask for more time with the children, making yourself available for daycare, babysitting, any time that she needs away from them.

Do you have to wait for January to file a child custody action? No, but you should note that the court gives a great amount of deference to a recently signed separation agreement and may not make any changes to your current custodial arrangement. Your best option may be to speak with your attorney, or a law firm in your area, about your options after a careful review of your separation agreement.

Also, you want to make sure that you have a reason for asking for more time with the children that works in their best interests. The goal of reducing a child support obligation may not be your best reason to ask for a modification of your custodial arrangement, as this appears to be a hidden issue in the question below. Best of luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney at Law
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

The most important thing to me right now is time with my children and as it states right now in our agreement we have joint legal custody and my wife has primary physical custody. Is it possible to force the custody situation to one that is ‘joint-physical’ or is this a dead issue until January - as we have agreed to review the agreement every January. If it could be forced, Who would force it? A judge or perhaps a mediator? Or is the only option for my wife and I to jointly agree on a new custody arrangement?

If it is a dead issue until January what are my chances of getting the agreement changed to a more joint physical custody arrangement if I have the children for more than 123 days this year?

Thanks for answering these questions.