During divorce proceedings, it can be a monumental challenge to determine the best time-sharing plan for the children. A good schedule has clear expectations for each parent, and it considers what is most beneficial to the child. Because nothing is ever static, there may come a time when you need to initiate a modification to your current parenting plan.
A judge must approve any changes made to your plan. There needs to be sufficient evidence that the current schedule no longer favors the child, so it is important to pursue modification for the right reasons.
Your ex-spouse is not upholding visitation schedule
Depending on the circumstances of your divorce, it is not entirely uncommon for one parent to ignore the agreed-upon visitation schedule. A court may evaluate the reasons that one parent is dishonoring the arrangement and suggest changes that work better for the sake of the children.
You or your ex-spouse is planning a relocation
Time-sharing plans work best when the two parents live in close proximity to one another. A significant relocation may make existing parenting plans terribly inconvenient, if not impossible. Typically, when deciding which home will become the primary residence, the courts do not favor the parent who is relocating, unless the move proves to be in the best interests of the children.
Your children’s needs are changing
If your children were very young when you finalized your divorce, many things can change as they move into adolescence and young adulthood. Relationships with certain family members, the proximity to specialized schools or necessary medical care may call for modifications to the current plan.
In these cases, the court needs substantial proof that these changes are crucial to the development, happiness and mental and physical health of the child. Because child support requirements often factor in amount of time one parent spends with the child, a modification may initiate a change to financial support payments as well.