It is not unusual for a parent’s situation in life to change as the years go on, especially if they are divorced. For example, a parent in Riverside may lose their job, get a new job, move further away or may remarry and move to a new home. These situations may mean that a parenting plan that had been working for years is no longer feasible and needs to be changed.
If parents agree on how to change the parenting plan, this change can be presented to the court for approval. If the parents cannot agree on how to change the parenting plan one of them must file for a modification of the existing child custody and visitation order.
A “change in circumstances”
To modify a parenting plan, you must show there has been a “change in circumstances” that is so significant that a new custody and visitation order is warranted. In addition, the modification must be in the child’s best interests meaning that it will allow the child to continue having a stable and consistent custody arrangement with their parents.
Sometimes parents who want to modify a custody and visitation order need to attend mediation first to try to work out a plan on their own. The mediator can assist you in creating a written agreement. This agreement can be signed by a judge giving it the same effect as a court order. It is important to think about the changes in your life and what type of parenting plan would now be in your child’s best interests.
Keep in mind that when you request a modification, the current child custody order still must be followed while the changes are pending. It is important to continue following this plan until a new order is in place. This way the child has stability necessary to continue growing and thriving post-divorce.