Modifying a parenting plan or residential schedule

When working with divorcing parents, our law office encourages them to fully understand their rights and responsibilities when it comes to parenting plans. We want to help our clients negotiate an agreement that works for them and for their children from the very beginning. Seeking changes after the fact can often be a difficult undertaking.

There are, however, situations in which a parent’s circumstances may change so significantly that the current residential schedule becomes unaffordable or difficult to adhere to. In addition, there are cases when it is in the best interests of the child or children to modify the existing agreement.

Here are some common reasons why a parent may seek a modification:

  • A parent undergoes a life change, such as getting a new job or becoming ill, that makes it difficult for them to continue exercising the same level of care for their child or children.
  • The original parenting plan is based on both parents living near each other. If one moves out of the area, it may be difficult to keep to the current visitation schedule or to afford long-distance transportation for the holidays.
  • One parent becomes concerned that the behavior of the other parent presents a danger to the child or children’s welfare.
  • As children get older, it may be necessary to consider the quality of the schools in the area where they are currently living. It may happen that one parent lives in an area with far superior educational options and a change in residential schedule may be the best option for helping a child or children get a good education.

Of course, even if one or more of these factors contributes to a parent seeking a modification, it’s also essential to consider what is overall best for the child or children. Significant changes in schedules can result in a child living a “split life” with two bedrooms and two sets of possessions. Parents should consider how they will be able to minimize the impact of a change in visitation or custody.

If you are considering requesting a modification of your divorce agreement, get in touch with Donna Wagner, a top divorce lawyer in Mt Juliet. She can review your case and guide you through your options, including the process of negotiating changes in your existing schedule.

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