Your current parenting plan may have been working well, at least for a while. However, sometimes our lives change so significantly that a current parenting plan is no longer working for one or both parents. In such situations, you may want to seek a modification of your current parenting plan.
Major modification of a parenting plan
If you do not have custody of your child under your current parenting plan, but your situation has changed and you want to modify your current parenting plan to give you custody of your child, this is considered a “major modification.”
If you are seeking a major modification, you must be able to show there has been a substantial change in circumstances in the life of the child or the custodial parent. Some examples of such changes include:
- The custodial parent has let your child live with you a majority of the time, despite what is ordered in your current parenting plan
- The custodial parent’s home is not a safe home for your child, and your child would suffer harm if they continued living with the custodial parent versus moving them to your home; or
- The custodial parent has been held in contempt of court two times or more in the past three years for not adhering to the parenting plan
These reasons can form the basis of a major modification of a parenting plan.
Minor modification of a parenting plan
Sometimes you do not want to change custody as outlined in your current parenting plan, but you want to modify the parenting plan in other ways. This is known as a “minor modification.” Some reasons why you might want to make a minor modification of your parenting plan include:
- Changes in work schedules
- Extended vacations; or
- Religious observances not included in the original parenting plan
These are only some reasons why you may seek a minor modification of your parenting plan.
Modifications can be made with respect
Seeking a modification of your current parenting plan, whether it is major or minor, does not necessarily need to be a contentious affair. Ultimately, you and your child’s other parent will want to make decisions that are in the best interests of your child, even if this means changing an existing parenting plan.