Parenting Plan Modifications
Modifications of parenting plans or visitation schedules are common in Oregon. After all, when an initial visitation schedule is created, whether through the agreement of the parties or by court order, it is difficult to predict how circumstances may change over time.
As children mature and as parents’ lives evolve, it is not unusual for families to make adjustments to parenting plans or visitation schedules to reflect changing family dynamics. For this reason, it is important to understand how to modify a parenting plan or visitation schedule.
Unofficial Parenting Plans Are Cheap, But Difficult To Enforce
Often, parents can come together to make minor adjustments to formal parenting plans. Many parents, especially those who continue to communicate effectively, will simply agree to make changes as needed.
Sometimes as a result of these agreements, a new parenting plan will emerge, even though it is not signed by a judge. Though these agreements are cost-effective and efficient, they will typically be viewed by the court as temporary, and they are difficult to enforce. This can be frustrating if one party decides that he or she wants to revert to the initial plan signed by a judge.
Therefore, even if parents agree to make changes to a plan, it is advisable that those changes are written down, signed by the parties and submitted to the court for signature. As these changes will often have some effect on child support or other rights and obligations, it is advisable to review agreed-upon changes with a skilled attorney prior to executing and submitting changes to the court.
What Happens If Parents Disagree On The Changes?
If parents cannot agree to a change, the party desiring the change will need to file a motion with the court. Contrary to other kinds of modifications, a motion to modify parenting time need not demonstrate a “substantial, unanticipated change in circumstances.”
Rather, requests to modify a parenting plan will be granted by a judge as long as the requested change is deemed to be in the best interests of the child. This lower burden is another reason why parenting time and visitation changes (as opposed to custody modifications) are so common.
Let Us Help You Pursue Your Goals
When parenting plans or visitation schedules need to be modified due to moves, work situations or other needs, we can help you figure out how to proceed and achieve a desirable outcome. Again, as parenting time changes often affect child support, we can also help ensure that any parenting time changes are reflected in a new child support calculation.
Get A Free, 15-Minute Phone Screening
If you have questions regarding parenting plan or visitation modifications, schedule a screening at Berman Law Center, P.C. Do not hesitate to contact our office by calling 503-715-2108, toll free 800-282-9288 or by completing our online contact form. We provide a free, 15-minute phone screening, and, depending on the needs of our clients, we can offer off-hours meeting times.