Your children are your priority.
And we know that. Separating from your child's other parent is hard under the best of circumstances. It is difficult for everyone, and our goal is to get you through this without causing additional damage to your relationship with your children or your co-parent. You will be parenting together for many years-- if it is possible to maintain civility, then that is best for everyone. Of course, this is not always possible and there are cases where it becomes necessary, for the sake of the children's safety, to do otherwise. But in most cases, whether the parents can see it at the time or not, they can move forward with a new framework to keep the children's best interests at the forefront.
Establishing Parenting Plans
Though parenting plans can be changed throughout your child's minority, the first permanent parenting plan entered by the court is very important, as changes aren't always easy to come by. Talk to your lawyer about what you should and shouldn't be doing with your kids as you move through your case. Judges consider multiple factors, including which parent handles most of the day-to-day parenting (homework, meals, baths, bedtime); which parent takes the children to the doctor appointments; who goes to the parent/teacher conferences. Other factors include issues regarding third parties that might be around the children; each parent's mental and physical health; and the children's preference.
The key to a parenting plan modification is a “substantial and material change in circumstances” relative to when the plan was first implemented.
But what does that mean? It depends on whether you want to change which parent is designated as Primary Residential Parent (which requires a higher standard be met) or if you only want to change the parenting schedule.
Most parenting plans require that you attend a mediation in an attempt to resolve any disagreements about changing the parenting plan prior to going to court.
We can help
We have specific experience and will advise you of your rights and any potential risks to filing a parenting plan modification. There are also non-litigation options we can explore to help you find agreement on the issues impacting you and your children.