Natural Disasters Can Affect Child Custody Agreements

Posted on: 17 November 2019

Most people understand that where they live, especially when it comes to their risk for natural disasters, will affect every facet of their life. However, one area where this impact is often overlooked is child custody agreements. Depending on where you live, you might need to make provisions in your agreement to ensure you're covered.

Agreements are Law

A child custody agreement is a legally binding agreement. Therefore, all parties involved in the agreement are expected to abide by it at all times. As a result, an impact from a natural disaster does not automatically alter the terms of an agreement. 

While the court will always consider what is in the best interest of the children, the impact of a natural disaster might not automatically grant an adjustment to the agreement. Consider a mother who is scheduled to take her children to their father on the same weekend a hurricane is forecasted to impact the area, for instance. 

If the mother does not drop the children off and the father does not feel like the mother even made an earnest attempt to do so, he could file a court hearing for a violation. While it's not to say that the hearing would be successful, it is a legal right the parent has.

Natural Disaster Provisions

Going to court is both time-consuming and costly. If you reside in an area that is prone to natural disasters, it's critical you put a natural disaster provision within your child custody agreement. Given the previous scenario, the mother would be able to rely on a provision given the circumstance. 

This provision could include anything from a schedule by which the mother would need to stay in contact with the father or something more intensive, such as extending the length of time the mother has to drop the children off to their father until conditions are safe to do so, even if it's weeks later. 

With this type of measure in place, the upset parent would not be able to take the other parent to court because the provision is written as part of the agreement. Remember, a provision is critical to protect yourself from all the repercussions that come along with a child custody agreement violation. 

A solid child custody agreement should be detailed and adaptable, no matter what situation you face. For this reason, it's always advised to allow a child custody attorney to work with you in developing your agreement.