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Parental Responsibilities

Do I Have to Talk to My Former Partner?

When children are involved, it is best if you and your partner can calmly and clearly communicate with one another.

While we encourage you keep things amicable with your former partner when possible, we understand that doing so can be easier said than done. When children are involved, it is best if you and your partner can calmly and clearly communicate with one another. When there is animosity, children instinctively know it, and while they are resilient, they do suffer. 

At the Law Office of Ellen M. Ross, we always advise you to act in the best interest of your children. When civility between you and your partner is unlikely, there are tools you can use to protect yourself. We can recommend software that you and your partner can use to communicate so that there is a record.

Ultimately, it is important that you continually strive to do what’s best for your children. We assist you in accomplishing that goal even when it is hard to focus on anything other than the breakdown of the relationship with the other parent.

Do I Have to Give My Former Partner Parenting Time if They Were Never Involved?

While it may not seem fair, parenting time and child support payments are not dependent on one another.

What does matter is that you follow the court order even when your former partner does not.

If your former partner makes parenting time difficult or refuses parenting time, or if you want more parenting time but cannot reach an agreement, the Law Office of Ellen M. Ross can help you. If you believe child support needs to be modified because parenting time has changed or there has been a significant change in your or your partner’s income, we can assist you in making that determination and modifying child support when it is appropriate. 

We will assess the facts of your matter and then advise you of what you can realistically expect from the courts. If you are not likely to be able to modify parenting time or child support, we will be honest with you and tell you that prior to you spending the time, money and effort to fight a losing battle.

Do I have to give my former partner parenting if they were never involved?

No matter how much or how little your former partner participated in the past, it is likely that you will be required to share parenting time now.

Despite how you and your former partner made decisions for the child(ren) during the relationship or who was responsible for caring for the children, the court feels it is important to have both parents involved with children when the parent expresses the interest and when it is in the child’s best interest.

We understand that there are times when one parent demands parenting time as a way to control or manipulate the other parent or reduce/increase child support. The child suffers when parents use them as pawns and unfortunately, it is often difficult to prove the motives of the other parent. However, we offer advice on how to minimize the effects of a manipulative parent.

Studies show that having both parents in a child’s life is important. They also show that a contentious relationship between the parents negatively affects the child. We assist you in devising a parenting plan that is in the best interest of the child, reduces the opportunities for contentious interactions and offers ways for you to become more comfortable with that parenting plan. For example, we encourage you to see that sharing physical custody allows you down time to take care of yourself which, in turn, allows you to be a better parent.

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