Modification of Time-Sharing and Visitation
As children age and circumstances change, sometimes a modification of your time-sharing or visitation schedule becomes necessary and in the best interests of your children. As such, the parenting plan that you agreed to or that was ordered by the court, may be modified when a substantial change in circumstances has occurred.
Why Modify your Time-Sharing or Visitation Schedule?
When a time-sharing or visitation schedule is entered into, the parties are often living under the most volatile of circumstances. Both parties are likely headed off in a new and uncertain direction, or entering into a paternity relationship with someone they may know little about. Under such stress, determining what is in the best interests of your children is a difficult task. With that in mind, courts understand that circumstances change and that the modification process can be an important tool in protecting the best interests of your children.
Further, if the actions of the other parent are having a negative impact on the children or if the other parent is not complying with the terms of the present time-sharing or visitation schedule, a modification may be appropriate.
What is a Substantial Change in Circumstances?
Whether a substantial change in circumstances has occurred in your case will depend on the specific facts of your case. For example, consider the fact that the other parent has a new girlfriend or boyfriend. Alone, that fact is most likely not enough for a modification, however, it could be seen as a substantial change if the new girlfriend or boyfriend was recently released from prison after assaulting a child or if the other parent becomes a drug addict or otherwise becomes unstable. Some of the most common changes are related to relocation, the changing needs of the children, and employment changes.
Make the Change to Protect your Children
If you are concerned about the needs of your children and feel that a modification of your time-sharing or visitation schedule would be in the best interests of your children, it is important to contact an attorney and discuss your present circumstances to determine if a modification is possible.