Can I change my child custody plan?

There could be any number of reasons why you’d want to change your child custody plan. Maybe you started a new job and your work schedule doesn’t fit in with this. Or, maybe you got sick and you can’t take care of your children in the same way at this time.

If you need to change your plan, you’ll have various options at your disposal depending on your situation.

Consider talking to your ex about the changes

In New York, spouses who get along with one another have a better chance of negotiating a change to their child custody orders without going to court. All that is necessary is to arrive at an agreement, draft a new plan, file it with the court and wait for it to be approved. Fortunately, most child custody modification appeals that are mutually agreed to gain approval.

For parents who are unable to agree on their child custody changes, it may be helpful to employ a family counselor to assist in coming to agreement on the parents’ new plan.

Some parenting plans already have guidelines inside them with procedures about how to modify them. If your plan doesn’t have such provisions, consider including provisions in your modification request that offer guidelines for future revisions if you need to make them.

When you have to go to court to change your plan

Not all child custody modifications can reach an out of court settlement. In these cases, you may need to attend court hearings to make your case in person. To carry out this process, you will have to file a petition to change your custody order with the appropriate court. Later, you will go to a custody hearing with the other parent present, and then the presiding judge will determine whether or not to award the petition.

Do you need a parenting plan modification?

If life circumstances require that you change your child custody or parenting plan agreement, it’s important to petition the court for a change in plan as soon as possible. The sooner you apply for a change in parenting and custody, the sooner you can fix the problem of your and your child’s schedules.