When parents decide to divorce, they need to decide who will have custody of their children. They also need to determine the parenting plan, which includes how much time each parent will spend with the children. The more comprehensive the parenting plan, the fewer chances for misunderstandings and potential conflict.
After a parenting plan is in place, there are situations and circumstances where it needs to be modified. There are factors related to the child that cause parents to revisit the parenting plan, and there are factors related to the parents that also may call for a modification.
Child-related factors to change parenting time
Parents may want to revisit the parenting plan if the child’s needs change:
- Breastfeeding: When a child goes from breastfeeding to eating regular food
- Diagnoses: If the child has physical, mental, emotional or behavioral challenges
- Schedules: Some older children get their first job or become involved in extracurricular activities
There are several reasons that a child’s needs may prompt a modification of the parenting time. The above are just a few common examples.
Parent-related factors to change parenting time
The following are some basic examples of when a parent’s situation justifies a change in the parenting plan:
- Changes: Moving away, a change in jobs or other factors may warrant a change in the parenting plan.
- Safety: If mental health issues, substance abuse or family abuse occurs
- Restrictions: Sometimes, parenting plans have restrictions that are no longer valid due to a change in the parent’s status.
Although the courts are focused on what is in the child’s best interest, there are times when parents’ needs can factor in.
When making or modifying a parenting plan, it can be beneficial to have professional guidance that is experienced in family law in Minnesota.