The allocation of parental responsibilities has to be established before the end of a divorce. Once finalized, parenting time orders have to be adhered to.
There are times when it’s appropriate to seek a modification of those orders, though. For example, if you have a change in your job’s schedule and can no longer have parenting time on the same schedule or you suspect that your ex-spouse is neglecting your child, then you should take action to alter the order as soon as possible.
Modifications to your parenting time: Heading back to court
When you need to adjust your parenting time, you need to file a modification request with the court. The first step is to gather up the evidence for why you need the change. For example, if you have a new work schedule that changed you from working from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., it would be reasonable to ask to change your parenting time to times when you can be physically present.
Adjustments in your child’s schedule may necessitate changes, too. For instance, if their school now has them getting out at 2 p.m. when they used to get out closer to 4 p.m., you may need to make a modification request to be sure someone is home to watch your child.
Another time when modifying your parenting time is vital is if you suspect neglect. If your child is coming home from the other parent’s home acting as if they haven’t eaten in days or they are regularly injured in the other home, it may be time to look into modifying the parenting time allotment so that you have more time than your ex or that they are required to have supervised visitation time.
Will modifications be approved?
It’s helpful if you and your ex-spouse can agree on the parenting time or schedule changes before you submit a request for them in court. If you cannot, then you may need to make your case to the judge. Judges will do what’s in a child’s best interests, so if you can show the necessity of the changes, then the judge may agree.