Stopping a child custody case is sometimes an option when you think that works for the best interests of the child. Some high-conflict child custody battles may take years for final decisions to be made due to the nature of the case. In this kind of case, both parents want to have custody of the child whatever it takes. However, the more the struggle, the more time it may take for the court to make a decision.
At some point, one parent may consider giving up or stopping the case for the sake of the child. In some instances, a reasonable parent may stop the case at an early age due to the reasons that we are going to discuss.
Reasons to Stop a Child Custody Case
One or both parents may want to stop a child custody case for different reasons. This can be at the middle of the case, or the beginning of the case. Some of the reasons that could make a parent or parents stop the case include:
Best Interests of The Child
This can happen when a parent thinks of the best interests of the child rather than their own. If the best interests of the child are to stay with the mother, then the father may wish to consider stopping the case. This is also a case where the case has taken too long in court until a time when the child has reached an age where he or she can make decisions.
A child who is of age may have a preference to live with one parent, and when that is the case, there is no obligation since the court will consider the preference of the child who is mature enough to make his or her decisions.
This may also happen where one parent becomes sensitive enough to the needs of the child. By considering the needs of the child, a parent may wish to avoid interrupting the child’s routine but rather stop the case and request for other parental rights like visitation time.
To Save Time and Financial Resources
A child custody battle can take a long time and during this time, parents will spend a lot of money paying for the attorneys and other court fees. In a high-conflict battle, this may take even more resources, especially where one parent contests.
In this situation, a reasonable parent may wish to save on resources by having the case stopped and having the child stay with the other parent while he or she enjoys the visitation rights. This is also if the other parent is able to care and promote what is in the best interests of the child.
To save on resources, a parent would request the court to have the case stopped, and the court will consider the request. This may work for the best interests of the child since a high-conflict and long court case may affect the child or children emotionally and psychologically.
The Other Parent Has Agreed to Negotiations
The parents can agree to negotiate and have the case stopped so that they can solve their issues outside of the court. This can also happen if one parent initiates the negotiations with the other parent for them to have the case stopped. If both parents agree for the case to be stopped, they can then file a motion to have the case stopped. They can do this by themselves or through their attorneys.
The Other Parent Has Given up
Recently, we wrote an article on when to give up on child custody. In that article, we highlighted some reasons and factors that can make a parent want to give up a custody battle. In this case, when one parent gives up, there is no other option than to have the court stop the case. The court at this point may grant the custody rights to the other parent who has not given up if it works for the best interests of the child. A parent who gives up the case may enjoy visitation rights as well.
Changes in Circumstances
One parent may in the process of a court battle get into circumstances that may not allow him or her to continue with a child custody battle. This can be as a result of physical or mental illness, job loss, or even death among other things. When this happens and one parent is not able to continue with the case, there is no option other than to stop the case.
In this situation, a parent who is well able to care for the child may become the custodian of the child if that can work for the child. With death, there is no option left for the other parent other than to file a motion to stop the case.
How to Stop a Child Custody Case
A custody case can be stopped before it gets to trial, or at any point. It is important to consult an experienced attorney who can help to file a motion to have the case stopped. To stop a child custody case, therefore, the options include:
Negotiating with The Other Parent
This can be possible if the parents are on good talking terms with each other. You can try to persuade the other parent to have the case stopped so that you both can save resources and instead use those resources to care for the needs of the child.
Out of Court Settlement
You may opt to stop the case and have an alternative dispute resolution. If you were the one who filed the case, you can agree with the other parent to try mediation or other dispute resolution mechanisms as well. It is important to understand that a court process can take years to be concluded and, therefore, as parents, you may opt to resolve your cases outside of the court. Outside court settlements can work for the best interests of the child and parents are always encouraged to solve their child custody issues outside the court.
With the out-of-court settlement, you and the other parent can negotiate on who will take primary custody of the child, how you can share parental responsibilities, and also come up with a reasonable visitation schedule that can work for the best interests of the child.
File a Request with The Court
Through your attorney, you can file a motion to have the case stopped. The court will consider the reasons stated in the application and whether it can work for the best interests of the child. After consideration, the court will then decide on whether to adjourn the case or not. If the other parent or party does not object to having the case stopped, then the court will have no option other than to have the case stopped, where other mechanisms have been put in place.
Parents can stop a child custody case and have their issues solved outside the court. As we have seen, several reasons could make a parent or parents want to stop their case, and also how to stop the case. If you wish to stop a child custody case, it is important to first consult your attorney so that you can have a clear way forward on how to go about the process.