Building Your Case for a Parenting Time Modification
The parenting time schedule you and your divorcing spouse hammered out (or that the court ordered) upon your divorce, may no longer be serving your family as well as it once did. If you and your ex agree to modified terms that you are both willing to sign off on, you are well advised to make it official with the court, which is almost certain to agree to the terms you set forth. If you and your ex cannot come to an agreement, however, you will need the court to intervene on your behalf via a parenting-time modification case.
Can Your Parenting Time Be Modified?
In order to modify any terms set forth in your final divorce decree, your circumstances must have undergone a material and substantial change. The fact that you would like to spend more time with your children does not qualify. If your circumstances have changed substantially and have changed in a way that altering your parenting time terms would better address the issue, the court will likely consider your case. It is, however, important to bring your strongest case in favor of your modification request.
Common Reasons for Requesting a Modification
There are any number of significant changes a family can undergo that may support a parenting time modification. Consider the following:
As your children age, their needs change, and sometimes these changes include the need to be more firmly based out of one home. If your teenager has a part-time job and is involved in extracurricular activities closer to your home, it may justify a parenting time modification.
If your children are getting older and they have weighed in on their desire not to go back and forth as frequently between two homes, the court is likely to take their preferences into consideration.
If your ex’s work hours have increased and your children spend most of their time with a babysitter when he or she has parenting time, the court will take this under advisement.
If your ex has developed a drug and/or alcohol problem that you believe is affecting his or her ability to parent, it is important to broach the matter with the court.
If there is a parenting plan that better addresses your family’s evolving circumstances and your children’s evolving needs, the court will consider your request for a reasonable alternative.
Ultimately, the court bases its decisions on the best interests of the children involved. Building a solid case for a parenting time modification involves demonstrating a significant and meaningful change in your circumstances and proposing modification terms that support your children’s best interests.
A Dedicated Killeen Family Law Attorney Can Help
Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is an accomplished family law attorney who understands the importance of your parenting plan modification case and who has the experience and drive to help. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 today.