In the first year or so following your divorce, things may have gone well enough. You and your former spouse may have settled into your co-parenting agreement, and the child support payments arrived on time. After the months of stressful divorce, this may have been a welcome relief, and your life may finally be moving in a positive direction.
However, nothing stays the same forever, especially if you have children. In fact, flexibility may be the one quality you can’t have too much of after a divorce. No matter how stable and predictable you expected your new life to be, there are certain changes you may not be able to avoid.
A new job, a raise in your salary or a promotion may affect your divorce settlement. If you pay alimony or child support, your raise may prompt your former spouse to ask for an increase in the amount the court ordered you to pay. On the other hand, if you receive monthly support payments, your spouse may request that the court reduce the amount in light of your improved circumstances.
Employment opportunities may also necessitate a move. Even if this move is just across town, you must notify the court and your former spouse if the relocation impacts your child or the court-ordered custody arrangements. This is especially true if the move will reduce your former partner’s parenting time or make it costly because of travel. Modifying Arizona court orders takes time, so family advocates advise couples to act quickly in filing the necessary papers.
Children grow and change quickly. Their interests fluctuate, and their involvement with people and activities outside the home can become extremely important to them. In the same way, as children go through various phases of their lives, their need for the influence of one or the other parent may change.
It may be easy to take this as a slight, thus it may be tempting to deny your co-parent the opportunity to engage with your child over mutual interests. However, family counselors encourage parents to keep in mind the needs of the child first and to be supportive of their interests.
You and your former spouse may also find your relationships changing, and it is not out of the question for one or both of you to consider remarriage. Changes in your family dynamic may be difficult for your children, and psychologists recommend sensitivity as they adjust.
Since each family is unique, it is impossible to predict the alterations your family may undergo. Nevertheless, it is likely that some of those changes may require court approval, especially those that may remove your children from their current school, neighborhood or time with your co-parent.
Seeking the counsel and assistance of a family law attorney will benefit you in many ways. Your attorney will advise you about possible solutions for any disputes between you and your former spouse and explain your options. Having a lawyer to protect your interests and rights means you can continue to move forward with confidence in your new life.