When the court determines how custody is shared, the orders issued by the judge are not permanent. If circumstances change and the children’s welfare is in doubt, it is possible to modify the parenting plan to reflect the situation on the ground.
There are two ways a court-issued parenting plan can be modified if there are existing court orders.
Consensus between the parents
If you and your ex agree to change the time-sharing arrangement, you can come up with an agreement and request the court to approve it.
Courts generally encourage parents to work together and will always allow such changes if the children are not at risk. However, you can still modify the parenting plan without your co-parent’s approval.
Petitioning the court
The court can step in if you cannot agree with your ex to modify the custodial terms. However, you will need valid reasons that explain a modification is necessary. A mere inconvenience or disagreements with your co-parent may not be enough to convince the court.
Is your co-parent denying you access to the children? Are the children’s best interests not being served by the current arrangement? These and more can be valid reasons to change the parenting plan. Similarly, if you’re worried about your child’s safety, you may be justified in asking for an emergency modification until a formal hearing can be scheduled.
Protecting your children’s welfare
If your co-parent is constantly violating the existing parenting plan, or you are concerned about the welfare of the children, it is necessary to act swiftly. Knowing the steps to take is crucial and will help protect your parental rights while ensuring the best for your children.