How to change your parenting plan post-divorce (or –Judgment)

I frequently get questions about problems with child custody and visitation after a couple has gotten a divorce, or completed their paternity suit and gotten a Judgment. One parent is constantly late or absent, one parent keeps changing the parenting plan, or one parent has a new boyfriend or girlfriend, and the new significant other is causing problems, or there is some problem with the child that one parent thinks is the other parent’s fault.

The answer is that there is a solution to these issues. Once your divorce is completed, or you have a Judgment, any of your orders can be modified upon a showing of a “change in circumstances.” A change in circumstances is some change from the time of your divorce/Judgment that has caused the problem. It could be a work schedule change, a new partner in your ex’s life, a change in residence, a change in the child’s school performance or behavior, or just a change in the situation. Most courts are pretty lenient when it comes to what kind of change is required.

But you do have to file a motion with the court if you can’t get an agreement with your ex about the change. I always recommend starting the easy way, which is sending a letter or email about the change you want, why you want it, and what steps you will take if the ex doesn’t agree. The steps you take may include going back to court, and you have to make that decision before you put it in writing.

If you have been through a divorce, you probably know how tough the court system can be on your wallet, your nerves, and your relationship with your ex, so think hard about whether you want to open up that can of worms.

3 Responses to “How to change your parenting plan post-divorce (or –Judgment)”

  1. When to go back to court and change your custody/visitation after your divorce is final « Christina McPherson, Attorney. Unlike any attorney you've ever met Says:

    […] your divorce is final June 10, 2011 — christinamcpherson We recently talked about how we can change the parenting plan post-divorce or –Judgment.  What we didn’t talk about is when it is imperative that we do so.  All too often I have […]

  2. When to go back to court and change your custody/visitation after your divorce is final « McPherson Law Group. Estate Planning & Divorce Law. Unlike any attorneys you've ever met. Says:

    […] a prior post, we talked about how we can change the parenting plan post-divorce or –Judgment.  What we didn’t talk about is when it is imperative that we do so.  All too often I have […]

  3. How to change your child custody &visitation schedule after your divorce is final | McPherson Law Group: Family Law. Elder Law. Estate Planning. Call: 925.307.6543 Says:

    […] a prior post, we talked about how we can change the parenting plan post-divorce or –Judgment.  What we didn’t talk about is when it is imperative that we do so.  All too often I have […]


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