When divorce happens in a family with children, it is essential to promptly handle the matter of legal custody. In most cases, a family law attorney needs to be involved in this process. The divorced couple is then tasked with modifying the parenting plan.
Disagreement Between The Ex-Spouses/Parents
Oftentimes, one ex-spouse is fighting the other for sole custody. However, a judge may decide that shared custody is better for the child or children involved. They will approve or disapprove the proposed parenting plan presented to them. If ex-spouses later become interested in a modifying parenting plan, they must adhere to the judge’s decision.
How To Modify A Parenting Plan
There are several steps that need to be taken in modifying a parenting plan. General steps that everyone must follow are filing paperwork for the modifying parenting plan and explaining and documenting any relevant changes. Once the proper paperwork has been submitted, the modification hearing can begin.
Altering a custody arrangement involves participating in a hearing. During this hearing, parents must prove to the judge that their life has changed somehow or their child’s has.
The larger the lifestyle changes are, the more involved the modification becomes. A custody arrangement can only be altered due to life changes if certain factors are relevant. This includes the safety of the child’s home environment, a new family situation and a new work schedule for either or both parents.
Documentation must be shown by a family law attorney to a judge in order to change a custody arrangement. For example, some parents will present a custody journal. This would be a written record of any problems arising with the current custody arrangement. One parent can have the arrangement changed if they can prove the other one is unfit. Having a family law attorney is important when this needs to be proved in court.
It is important for both parents to remember that the modifying parenting plan must reflect what is best for the child or children in question. Sometimes this means child support is increased if one parent is struggling to support the child financially.
Ex-Spouses/Parents Working Together
Ex-spouses that can reach a compromise peacefully can draft a parenting plan on their own. As long as the plan is filed in a court of law, it is generally approved by the judge. Those that can compromise often agree to shared custody.
For parents that want to compromise but are struggling to do so, a family counselor can provide assistance. He or she will help create a parenting plan that both parties are comfortable with, avoiding modifying parenting plan.
No matter what the circumstances are, the outcome of a parenting plan should always be positive. An effective family law attorney will fight for child support along with anything else essential to the agreement. Child support can be changed by a judge, making a family law attorney necessary. All involved parties working to reach a common goal will have to put the child’s needs first.
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