When going through a divorce with children involved, it is normal to make decisions based on life as it is or is expected to be soon after the dissolution of marriage is finalized. Parenting plans are written to work for the family now, not necessarily down the line. As life is full of unexpected changes and challenges, parents in Massachusetts can modify their parenting plans as needed.

Parenting plans contain a lot of information, including custody arrangements, visitation schedules, details about support and general ground rules for parents to follow. Parents are able to set the terms of parenting plans on their own, but they will have to be approved in court before they can take effect. Just as the initial plan must be court approved, modification requests must also go to the court for consideration.

Certain modifications requests, those of which both parties are in agreement on, will likely be approved fairly quickly. Those requests that are one-sided, however, may take a little more effort before being accepted. Modifications are usually only granted if a substantial change in circumstances has been experienced by one or both parents. Proof of the change will have to be submitted to and accepted by the court before any modifications will be made.

Parenting plans are as unique as the families for which they are written. As life changes, so can these plans. Parents in Massachusetts who require modifications to parenting plans should not be afraid to request them. An experienced attorney can help parents seek changes to custody and child support arrangements so that they continue to suit their needs.

Source: goodmenproject.com, “When Life Happens: Making Changes To Your Parenting Plan“, Feb. 2, 2017