Here’s the thing…
If you want to modify your parenting plan but your child’s other parent doesn’t agree to the changes, you will need to go to court.
But what’s the best approach?
So let me help you with some advice based on some years of dealing with this kind of thing…
To modify your plan through the court, you need to file a child custody modification or a petition to change the custody order. Then you and the other parent will attend a custody hearing and present your cases to the judge. The judge will decide if the modified plan is accepted by the court. Preparing for a custody modification hearing.
When you go to court, you need to show that there has been a change in your child’s life or the parents’ lives that make changes to the plan necessary. For a major modification you need to show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances.
Some changes in circumstance that warrant a modification are:
- The child’s residence isn’t safe
- A parent is moving
- A parent’s work schedule has changed
- The child is older
- The family situation has changed
- The current parenting time schedule isn’t being followed
You should have documents that show the change in circumstance and be able to explain how your modification will benefit your child and work for the new situation.
Documents that show the judge your schedule or plan need modification could include:
- A custody journal with notes about problems with the plan as they occurred
- A report that shows actual parenting time compared to scheduled time
- New school or activity schedules that impact the parenting time schedule
- Evidence of a new job or relocation from you or the other parent
- Statements from doctors, teachers or other witnesses
- Statements from older children about their wishes regarding the schedule or plan
- Paperwork that reveals unfit behavior from the other parent
If the judge approves your modification then the new parenting plan becomes official. If the judge does not accept your changes, you may have to follow your current parenting plan.
All of this that I’ve just shared with you can be extremely intimidating and overwhelming which is why we offer a FREE Phone Consultation to ask questions and get clear on the things that will have the biggest impact in your case and situation.
The first step is to call (631) 543-3700 or fill in the form below this post and one of our senior partners will contact you as soon as they are available.