Divorced parents still have a strong connection – through their children. In the midst of making decisions about schooling, vacations, and health care, moms and dads have to stick to their parenting plan. But what if that parenting plan isn’t working anymore?
Why Plans Come Unstuck
People’s lives change over time. Your divorce is living proof of this.
Adults may change jobs, buy or sell homes, and learn more about their likes and dislikes. Friends and family members may move or even pass away. Many people face these changes and just adjust their lives accordingly.
As children grow, they also experience changes in activities, friends, and more. Parents might find that a visitation schedule no longer fits their children’s current list of activities – which, frankly, may change again in a year or so, depending on the kids’ ages.
Sometimes sticking to the parenting plan you negotiated during your divorce seems like trying to stuff a square peg into a round hole. If that’s the case, it may be time to make some adjustments. And there are ways to do just that.
And How to Fix a Parenting Plan That Isn’t Working
Before your divorce could be finalized, you and your co-parent had to negotiate and finalize your parenting plan. Thinking back on what your parenting plan includes can help you figure out if it’s time to alter it. That’s because parenting plans can be very specific or just have general guidelines.
First, review your plan to refresh your memory. If you and your ex-spouse are amicable, at least when it comes to your children, you may have inadvertently done things that are not spelled out in your plan. For example, you may have changed your spouse’s mid-week visitation day from Wednesday to Tuesday because little Johnny has soccer practice on Wednesday.
While it’s great to agree on alterations amicably, you must get the modifications in writing and file with the Court in order for it to become a Court order. It’s important to be clear about both parent’s obligations and responsibilities.
If changes are needed, talk to your divorce lawyer first. Your options for fixing your parenting plan include:
- Negotiating a new agreement,
- Meeting with a family mediator if you and your co-parent can’t agree on modifications, and
- Asking a court to approve or order changes to the plan.
There’s no need to stick with a parenting plan that doesn’t fit anymore. Parenting plans are intended to help you help your kids, so consider fixing issues as they arise.
You Have Options When a Parenting Plan Isn’t Working.
Instead of increasing your stress levels—and, more importantly, your children’s – talk to an experienced California divorce attorney about making your plan work again.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger are experienced at all phases of divorce, legal separation, and annulment. Call us at 415-293-8314 to schedule a private appointment or visit our website. We assist clients along California’s Northern to Southern Coast, including San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Marin, San Jose, Gold River, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, and surrounding communities.