Coates & Davenport, P.C.

Getting more time with your children after a Virginia divorce

One of the most frustrating things about divorce is how it always seems to impact the relationship between parents and children. The parent who sees the children the most will likely have to deal with the intense emotional burden of the children acting out as a result of the family dynamics changing.

The one who spends less time with the children may go through a period of feeling depressed or isolated due to the decrease in interaction with the children. Having less time with the children can be difficult, especially if you have a close bond with your kids. You deserve to preserve and strengthen that relationship despite the divorce.

If you don't spend as much time with your children as you used to, it may be time to revisit the terms of the child custody order in your divorce. For divorced parents in Virginia, it is possible to have the courts modify a child custody order to allow for more time with your children.

The courts review orders every two years unless someone requests a hearing

As a general rule, Virginia family courts will revisit both child support and custody orders as requested by either parent. They do this to make sure that the custody and support orders reflect the current family situation.

Living arrangements change, as can income. Perhaps you were in an unstable position at the time of the divorce, but you have since secured housing and a better job. Maybe you were having emotional issues, but you have gone through counseling. So long as you have evidence of your efforts, you may have grounds for a modification hearing.

It is even possible to seek more time with your children if addiction was an issue, provided that you have taken steps to address that issue, such as going through rehabilitation or attending support meetings for addicts. If you have experienced a substantial shift in life after the divorce, your new circumstances may be adequate grounds for requesting a modification hearing.

A modification can help you spend more time with your kids

Although you likely don't relish the idea of going back to court after your divorce, seeking a modification can benefit the entire family. You and your children will reap the emotional benefits of more time spent together. Your ex will also benefit from the children having improved relationships with you, as your ex will have more free time and better adjusted kids at home.

Protecting a bond with your children is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. If you don't think you have enough time with your kids and want to be a more active participant in their lives, it may be time to talk to a Virginia family law attorney about seeking a modification to your custody arrangements.

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