It is common for divorced parents and never-married couples, once separated, to have a child custody arrangement and a parenting plan in place as part of the divorce or legal proceedings.
Over time, the child custody arrangement and parenting time arrangement may no longer work for one parent, both parents or for the children. These plans may be changed through the court and with the legal representation of a child custody attorney.
When to Seek Legal Assistance
For a modification of the parenting plan, which includes parent’s time with the child or children, holidays and other factors, parents may be able to agree. If Mom and Dad can agree together to modification, there is no need to go to a child custody attorney or through the courts.
However, if there is a history of the other parent changing his or her mind or becoming difficult to work with, a modification of the order should be a consideration. This will provide a legal, written framework should problems occur in the future.
When parents cannot reach an agreement on the modifications desired, working with an attorney will be a critical step. Having your own attorney representing your best interests is always important, even if the other parent may choose to represent him or herself in the matter.
What the Court Needs
As your child custody attorney will explain, the family courts are designed to make decisions in the best interest of the child or children. Therefore, providing evidence why the modification is in the best interest of the child is critical in having the modification approved.
The attorney will work with the parent, experts, and other relevant individuals to provide information to the court as to the benefits of the modification for the child. This may also include discussing physical and emotional safety issues if they have been an issue during the relationship or since the divorce.