The creation of a custody order or parenting plan can be a lengthy, expensive and frustrating process. The more you disagree with your ex about the right way to split parenting time or how you should cooperate to raise your children, the more work it will take to reach an agreement that both of you will willingly uphold.
You may have tried to create a parenting plan that took your family’s unique needs into consideration. A judge helping create a parenting plan during litigated custody proceedings will similarly make every effort to create a plan that looks to the future as well as to the current needs of the children.
However, even if you do try to create a plan that will adapt to your changing needs as your children get older, you may still need to go back to court to modify the parenting plan.
Why modifications are important
As you and the other parent of your children adjust to your new routine cooperating with one another as co-parents, you may have an easier time working with one another. A more amicable relationship may lead to the two of you being more casual about your adherence to the custody order.
Still, even if you agree to make changes, you don’t have any right to enforce those new terms, and you could put yourself at risk of enforcement actions initiated by your ex as well. A formal modification protects both of you and prevents malicious use of custody enforcement from being an issue in your family.
Additionally, formal modifications to custody can sometimes also have an impact on child support obligations, which makes them doubly valuable for those changing how much time they spend with their children.
Your parenting plan can change as your family’s needs do
You don’t have to feel locked into a specific arrangement for parenting, especially when your schedule changes or the needs of the children change. Being flexible is important for one-time or short-term adjustments, but making major changes official is also an important part of maintaining a positive co-parenting relationship.
Ensuring that your parenting plan is accurate and up-to-date will reduce conflicts and protect your relationship with the children.