Securing the custody and guardianship of children, along with access to the children following the breakup of a relationship is a priority for many. How an agreement regarding these matters will be reached varies from situation to situation and while some couples are able to come to an agreement via mediation or the collaborative separation process, others opt to go to court. The way in which a matter will be decided at court is never guaranteed. This is true during the initial split or later, when one parent seeks to modify the previous order or agreement. It also makes no difference whether the couple was married or involved in a common-law marriage.
A former realty-TV star mom is facing this exact situation now. Divorced from her husband for approximately a year, she is seeking to have a child custody order changed. When the initial custody decision was made, the woman's ex-husband was awarded the right to make decisions about the couple's 8-year-old child's religious and upbringing and education. The woman is also fighting to get more support from her ex.
In the course of seeking a variation of the order, the woman claims there has been a change in circumstances. She also questioned the impartiality of the judge in the case before the court at this time and who also decided the previous issues. She alleged nothing she says will be believed by the judge.
In response to those allegations, the judge stated that "...litigation is not a popularity contest" and personal feelings do not play a role in how a matter is decided.
How this matter will be resolved or whether a different method of dispute resolution would be more effective is not clear. Readers should be aware however that alternate methods, other than court can be used effectively to reach an agreement in family law matters.