Life is not static, so it would be unreasonable to think that some of the decisions made during your divorce should be set in stone, including your parenting plan. As such, the courts allow parents to seek modifications to parenting plans for any number of reasons. It is generally easier to work with your ex on these matters, especially if you are on the same page and have a good co-parenting relationship. However, if necessary, you can take the issue to court.
Here is what you need to know about parenting plan modifications:
- Working with your partner: If you are able to work with your partner on modifying a parenting plan, you can file the new plan with the court. It will almost always be accepted. As another alternative, you can also seek the assistance of a family counselor or go through custody mediation to craft a new parenting plan.
- Going to court: If you are unable to work with your partner on a new parenting plan, you will need to go to court to seek a modification. To do so, you will need to file a petition to change the custody order or file a child custody modification. You and your co-parent will need to attend a custody hearing where you will both present your respective cases to the judge. He or she will decide if the requested modifications are acceptable.
- How to prepare for the hearing: You will need to show that there has been a change in either your child’s life or in the life of a parent, which warrant changes to the current plan. Some of the changes a judge will consider include:
- A parent is moving
- A parent’s work schedule changed
- Your child is older
- The current parenting time is not being followed
- Your child’s current residence is not safe
You will need documents that illustrate the changes and you should be prepared to explain how a modification in the current parenting plan would serve the best interests of the child. Examples of some of the documents you could include that show the need for a modification include evidence of a new job or relocation from you or your ex, a report that shows actual parenting time compared to scheduled time, paperwork that reveals unfit behavior from the other parent, and statements from older children about their preferences regarding the schedule.
Altamonte Springs Family Law Attorney
Life is ever-changing, so sometimes modifications to current arrangements are necessary. At the Law Office of Russell S. Hershkowitz, LLC, our Florida legal team can provide you with the seasoned legal counsel you need to have your modification approved by the court. We handle a range of modifications, including visitation schedules and child custody.
Contact our firm today at (407) 753-4111 to set up a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you.