I am a resident of VA. I have 3 children with my ex. According to the final divorce approved by the court, we have joint legal custody. My ex has sole physical custody and I have the right to reasonable visitation. Since I moved out over a year ago, I have had the kids 50% of the time. I pick them up from school on Wednesday and have them until I drop them off at school on Friday morning as well as every other weekend from Friday to Monday morning. I also do soccer practices on Tuesday night and soccer on every saturday mrning. I also take them on trips. I want to change my custody to shared custody 50/50 since that is what we do. I am also afraid that if i try to change the support as a result my ex may prevent me from seeing the kids as often as I do.
Additionally, I am active duty military and will be sent to a deployable command in about a year.
Juvenile Law Attorney
You will need to hire a lawyer. Your fears a valid, and your case is complicated by your deployment.
The steps you will need to take are to file for a modification of custody and visitation, based on a change in circumstances, and file to modify child support.
When you hire a lawyer, ask about the advantages/ disadvantages of filing both motions at the same time, or separately, ie: first filing and obtaining joint physical custody, then going back and filing for the modification of child support. The answer and advice will depend on a variety of factors including: the time it takes to get motions heard in your local court, if your case is still in circuit court or has been sent down to Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, and whether the Department of Child Support and Enforcement is involved or not.
REMEMBER, my answer to your question is for general informational purposes, as I don't know all the facts and circumstances relating to the specific person(s) and situations involved. You should always consult with an attorney prior to making any legal decision. This response does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney/client relationship. For specific information regarding your case, call my office at 703-499-5843 to schedule a consultation.