How can I prepare for divorce?

The first question to ask yourself if whether divorce is the right answer for you. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers offers an article on Making Marriage Last that will give you food for thought. If you feel dissolution of your marriage is your path and you have children, know that there are certain steps you can take to lessen the stress on them. To help them through your divorce, read the tips offered by KidsHealth and Ten Tips for Divorcing Parents from Divorce Magazine that provides simple but good advice.

I am the custodial parent. Can I deny visitation?

The purpose of visitation rights is for children to understand they have two parents who are entitled to love their children and be loved in return. If the children come back from a weekend with their non-custodial parent and are upset or tell you they do not want to go anymore, that is not reason to deny visitation unless their health and welfare are endangered by the visitation. If you are having a disagreement with your ex or harbor ill feelings, that is not reason to deny visitation. However, the non-custodial parent is entitled to reasonable visitation. That means if he or she wants to see your child in the middle of the night or is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you do not have to permit visitation.

I am the non-custodial parent. Can I decide not to accept visitation?
You are entitled to reasonable visitation. If you are unable to comply with the visitation schedule, you and your ex might be able to work out alternative arrangements. Remember, your children deserve the love of both their parents.
I have been divorced for a while and would like to change some of the provisions in the decree. If my ex and I agree, would the changes be valid?
After your divorce, you might find it necessary or desirable to modify one or more of the stipulations in your divorce decree, property settlement, or custody and support arrangements. You must follow proper procedure if you want that modification or set of modifications to be valid. An experienced family law attorney can work with you to ensure your desired changes are valid.

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