Family Law
complex custody issues

Child custody cases contain some of the most complicated matters within family law. Emotions tend to run high in complex familial relationships, and the outcome can impact the lives and futures of those involved. It can help to realize in these cases, courts consider the best interests of children. If it takes a long time to resolve, consider that the court may be taking time to fully address these complex child support issues,

Certain circumstances can take what is undoubtedly already a difficult child custody case and turn it even more complex. Some examples of complicated circumstances follow.

complex custody issues
complex custody issues

Disabilities of the Child

When children have mental or physical disabilities, their needs regarding growth and development are more intense. There is likely to be additional costs associated with medical care, assistance, special education or special accommodations. Higher child support awards or other form of assistance is not a given in these cases. Both parents will need to show a willingness and the means to provide and care for their children with unique needs. The living situations of both parents will be carefully considered for the best interests of the child. It is another situation where the experience of your attorney will impact the custody outcome of complex child support issues.

Relocation of a Spouse

In custody cases where a parent wants to relocate to a different city, state or county are among the most difficult cases to resolve. Unfortunately, the change of location means one parent will usually take the majority of time with their child or children. The other will have limited opportunities to be physically present and involved in their child’s life.

Because it is usually in the child’s best interests to have frequent and consistent ongoing contact with his or her parents, these cases require careful evaluation of the factors present in this relocation situation. Moves to a nearby city can cause challenges for the other spouse, but they are nothing compared to relocation to another state or even to another country. When the court does consider the relocation of a spouse, it will take into consideration other factors, such as the support system in the new area. This can include extended family, available job promotions, educational opportunities and whether access is still available to the non-relocating parent.

Disagreement on custody and/or visitation arrangements

That spouses facing separation and divorce disagree, is not surprising. When those disagreements involve the custody of a child, it adds a whole new level of complexity to an already tense situation. Central to any custody or visitation arrangement is communication between both parties. There is a strong need for all involved to be able to compromise and negotiate effectively and amicably for the sake of the child or children. When parents can work together to come to an agreement on custody, access, support and other issues, the final agreement is reached more quickly.

When disputes and disagreements prevent working out parenting resolutions, attorneys can help maintain civility between parties. Experienced attorneys work through disagreements crafting solutions to complex custody issues that are in the best interests of the children.

It is important to keep in mind, especially when disagreements become emotionally charged, that every exchange can be easily documented. Arguments, inappropriate behaviors, and other actions akin to heated disagreements can adversely affect the court views on either party in the case.

Temporary orders and violations

Divorce and child custody cases can take months or even years to resolve. To manage the interim custody needs, courts may establish temporary orders addressing things like conservatorship, possession, access, and support. Temporary orders are in effect until a settlement agreement is executed, alternative orders are issued or final judgement is rendered.

Violations of temporary custody or visitation arrangements can result in challenges securing a preferred permanent arrangement, and worse for the violating parent. It can also open the door to further legal recourse for the wronged parent.


Domestic violence and abuse are a huge concern for courts considering custody arrangements. Accusations of abuse are taken seriously, but supporting evidence must accompany their claims. Courts pay close attention to whether a proposed or existing custody or visitation schedule presents dangers to the children. If either parent’s behavior isn’t in the child’s best interests, the court’s decisions will reflect it. Conduct, including substance abuse, criminal activity, abuse, or neglect can all result in loss of custody or parenting time. Having an experienced lawyer like those at Hittelman Family Law Group is essential to address this issue. The goal is to explore options in the child’s best interests first, with the best outcome possible. While this is more difficult is abusive complex child support situations, it is essential.

These are only some of the issues that can complicate a child support case. While no one has seen it all, at HLFG, we believe we have come close to seeing the complexities that can arise in any child support case. Our experience can guide you through the potential pitfalls of a custody determination for the best interests of your child. Contact us for a consultation or call 949-210-3260.