When does a parenting plan need changes?

Adapting to divorce and the parenting plan that follows can be a significant challenge for everyone in the family. It may take months or years for everyone to adjust to the new version of normal for the family.

In some cases, changes mean it is time to revisit the parenting plan and make changes. While parenting plans are not something that gets changed on a whim, there are several times that it is essential to look at the plan and see if it is time to make updates.

Here’s what you should know about when your parenting plan might need revisions:

Changing needs and interests

As you have watched your child grow up, you have seen changes in how they interact with the world. The small child who used to rely on you to make plans and take them here and there is now asking to be dropped off.

When your child goes from being a child to a teenager, your role shifts significantly. You and your ex may often find yourselves revising your parenting plans to adapt to the ever-changing needs of your adolescent.

When you see these changes, it may be a good time to start thinking about revising your parenting plan. You should look at the new routines and patterns to create a reasonable alternative.

Child’s best interests

Ultimately, the decision to approve a revised parenting plan will rest on what is best for the child. When courts determine whether a plan is in the best interest of the child, they look at factors, such as:

  • The child’s relationship with each parent
  • The child’s relationship with their school and community
  • The mental and physical health of the child and both parents

In many cases, when parents agree on the changes to the parenting plan, courts will allow and encourage parents to work together to find a solution. However, when parents seek a change but cannot agree, courts will look at the child’s best interest to decide how to coordinate parenting time.