Change is constant. Unfortunately, that means that, if you have kids, you will probably need to update your parenting plan before they turn 18. The ease of this process depends on multiple factors, including how cooperative your ex-spouse is, and what types of changes you need.
There are two types of changes to parenting plans: (1) emergency changes; and (2) non-emergency changes. For emergency restrictions on a parent’s time, the court must find that the child is in danger. For non-emergency matters, the court will make changes based on the best interests of the child.
If your situation is an emergency, such as allegations of abuse or neglect, you will need to file a Motion to Restrict. Hearings on these types of motions must be held within 14 days.
If your situation is not an emergency, the first step is to review your current parenting plan. Many parents include a provision that, if they cannot agree on changes, they will go to mediation before filing a motion. That can sometimes be waived. However, I generally encourage parties to attend mediation before filing a motion, as it often results in an agreement and significantly reduces the cost.
If you do not have a mediation requirement, you can request mediation from the other party, or you can immediately file a Motion to Modify Parenting Time. The Court may appoint a Child and Family Investigator, will order the parties to mediate, and will set a hearing.
Is your parenting plan outdated or causing arguments between you and your ex? Give me a call to discuss how I can help.