Divorce with children is still a significant issue when it comes to the family unit in California. The courts are replete with cases bogged down with child custody and visitation conflicts.
After your divorce is final, what can you expect from a parenting plan? If both parents spent adequate time hashing out the details before signing the final version, you should have a document that works for your family. However, over time, it is necessary to modify a parenting plan. Gather some insight into how and when you should contemplate these changes.
The parents cannot make the schedule work
A change in employment may necessitate another look at the parenting plan. When parents draft the initial agreement, situations may change, including when they can feasibly pick up and drop off the kids. If one parent has employment responsibilities that make it more challenging to continue the current schedule, it is a good idea to get the new plan in writing. Whether it means a revision with the court depends on your relationship with the other parent.
The children start school
When divorce happens early in a child’s life, you may not have thought of what it would look like once he or she started school. A regular school schedule can change many elements of a visitation agreement, including the length of time with each parent. Once kids start kindergarten, the old plan may require updating.
A parent moves farther away
Your original agreement may split physical custody almost in half. However, one parent may relocate farther away for a myriad of reasons. If this occurs, it may become impossible to adhere to the same type of arrangement. When a substantial change like this happens, it is a good idea to go through the court to get the change on the record. A parenting plan is not enforceable if it is not current.
Parents who communicate effectively may find themselves using the parenting plan as more of a guide and not a rulebook. However, in some instances, a legal change may work out best for all involved.