Children grow up fast, and chances are that your child’s needs are very different now than they were just a year ago. If you and your child’s other parent established your time-sharing schedule some time ago, those changes might mean that your custody arrangement does not reflect your child’s needs today. Thankfully, you might be able to modify that plan to better support your child.
Why might you modify your parenting plan?
Generally, modifying a parenting plan requires you to show that a substantial change in your family circumstances requires a change. You must also show that the change will better support your child’s physical, emotional, educational and other needs. Some of the changes that might warrant a modification include:
- Your child’s needs have changed — Your child needs different things to thrive at different stages of life. If you created a parenting plan to support breastfeeding your child, for example, that time-sharing schedule will likely not reflect their needs as they begin preschool. In other cases, one parent may be better equipped to care for a child’s newly-diagnosed health condition.
- Challenges with your child’s other parent — If one parent does not follow the parenting plan or behaves in a way that impacts your child’s wellbeing, a modification might be an important way to protect your child and your rights.
- Changes in your situation — Substantial changes to your health or finances can impact your ability to care for your child. For example, a long-term illness might require you to spend more time focusing on your own recovery.
- Changes in work requirements—If your career requires you to relocate or new hours at work make your previous visitation plan unworkable, you may be able to adjust your plan to reflect those changes.
Thankfully, modifications to your parenting plan are possible, allowing you to protect the relationship you have with your child under your new circumstances.