Finding Solutions To Complex Issues

Can you revise parenting time without involving the court?

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2024 | Child Custody |

Picture this: As a divorced couple with children, you are getting along just fine. No bad blood. The children too are ok. However, there is one little problem. The parenting plan you provided in court isn’t working anymore, and it’s no one’s fault. Can’t you just work things out without involving the court?

Life’s circumstances change from time to time. If these changes are impacting either party’s ability to spend time with the children, you may consider custody modification. However, doing so without involving the court can cause problems down the road.

Understanding how child custody order works

While the court encourages divorcing couples to come up with parenting arrangements that suit everyone involved, it is important to understand that the court has the final say. When a court makes a custody ruling, it does so in the best interests of the child and the order is legally binding.

As far as out-of-court custody modification is concerned – yes, both parents may agree to review the existing custody order with the goal of modifying it. However, whatever plan they come up with should be approved by the court, especially if they want it to be legally binding.

What if you keep the court out of the loop?

If you and your ex are getting along, you might be tempted to keep the court out of your parenting affairs. However, this can come with the following pitfalls:

  • The new parenting plan will not be in the court records. In other words, should you fall out with your ex, you will have no way of getting the court to enforce the modified plan.
  • Circumstances change, and so do people. While skipping the court may be convenient at first, things can easily get out of control if one party oversteps their boundary.

The child’s post-divorce living arrangement is serious business. Whereas you may want to avoid the court during modification, be sure to understand what this will imply down the road. Understanding your legal obligations is definitely the best place to start when modifying an existing custody order.