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Jacksonville Legal Blog

If you are considering or are facing a divorce action and children are involved, you will encounter many challenges least of which may be deciding which parent is available for offering care. Divorces are extremely difficult events to emotionally handle for most parties involved. What was a commonplace occurrence of daily routines, is suddenly disrupted by the breakup of the marriage and an absent parent oftentimes feels the emotional drain of not having his or her children close at hand. Children are especially vulnerable to emotional trauma divorce can cause. Children in most cases want to spend as much time with both parents as they can and many in the early stages of divorce are hopeful that their parents will settle their issues and get back together. Parents, on the other hand, want to spend as much time with their children especially if one parent has not been awarded the primary custodial guardianship. From attending recitals and after school activities to just enjoying each other when scheduled time is allotted, is a big part of most divorced parents and their children’s lives. Parents need their children as much as children need their parents. Many times, the initial court order of custody and daily guardianship is changed by the divorced parents themselves without the consent of the court. This might be based on a changing ex’s schedule or even on their children’s desires and wants. This can be a welcomed relief for a parent who has had to suffer the daily loss of a child and whose visitation is relegated to alternate weekends and agreed upon visitations. It can also help foster better communication between divorced parents, making accommodations for their former spouse or of a change for the sake of the children. When a divorced couple make changes in arrangements decided by the court, it is imperative that a modification is sought by the parties in court and that legal counsel is involved to protect each parent’s rights. Hunter Malin, Heekin Litigation Group’s principle marital and family law attorney sees these types of changes made to original divorce decrees all the time. Many times, the custodial custody and care of children is awarded to one of the parents and is not shared equally.  Maybe because one parent is in a position to better care for the day to day activities of a child or maybe one of the spouses decides to punish the other and demands custody and is awarded. For whatever reason, when a change is agreed to by the divorced parties the court needs to oversee the modification. If this situation applies to you, then you need to contact Hunter at 904-355-7000 for a free, no-obligation consultation. Hunter is passionate about the law he practices and in helping divorce families meet their children’s needs.

Court Orders are Required to Modify Child Custody and Child Support

Often times, divorced parents may decide to modify or adjust their parenting plan agreed to in their original divorce decree. They also might not want to involve the court and adjust the plan with no documentation. This might be a simple solution for a weekend or a visitation day but if adopted as a long-term strategy the court needs to be involved. This can even be more significant when child support payments are involved. Let’s say you and your spouse agree that the children’s domicile will change from the original divorce decree and your ex-spouse agrees to forego child support payments. Without a court-ordered modification, the initial parent responsible for paying child support could be held responsible for back child support payments because the court was never informed and involved in the modified child custody arrangement. If you are interested in learning more about these and other family law issues, give Hunter Malin a call. He has over 20 years’ experience in all aspects of family law and is interested in helping divorcing families throughout the entire North Florida area. Whether you are considering modifying your court order, need help in a domestic violence matter or are seeking or defending a divorce action, Hunter knows the right questions to ask and will protect your rights, your children’s and most importantly, protect your future. Call us at 904-355-7000 or visit our website at for a complete list of our services and credentials.


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