When a couple decides to get divorced, they will have to present a parenting plan to the court for final approval of their child custody agreement. If the parents are unable to agree on a plan, the court will review all evidence and come up with a plan that suits the best interests of the child.
Once a plan is finalized and becomes a legal custody order, parents are expected to follow the terms of the order until the child becomes an adult. However, families often go through major life changes that may impact their ability to adhere to the terms of the agreement. In such cases, a parent can petition the court to modify the child custody agreement.
Modification of parenting time
If you and your ex can agree on how to modify the agreement, both of you will file a stipulation with the court to request a modification. If you do not agree on the modifications, you can file a motion with the court to modify the agreement.
You may not file a request to modify within two years of a previous agreement becoming official, unless the child is in danger.
You can file a request to modify parenting time or decision-making responsibilities. However, the court will only grant the modification if it is in the best interest of the child.
If a parent is seeking to make substantial changes, the court will only consider a modification request if:
- The current environment/situation is a danger to the child’s physical or mental well-being.
- Child is being integrated into the family of parent requesting the change.
- Changing the plan is more beneficial than it is harmful to the child.
- You and your ex agree to the change.
If you are not sure if your situation warrants a change in parenting time or decision-making for the child, consider speaking to a family law attorney about your situation.