Some couples divorce when their children are quite young, so the main custody concerns are ensuring adequate parental access and an appropriate share of child care responsibility, even if that responsibility is primarily financial. When your children are older, there will be many more considerations that you must integrate into your parenting plan or custody order.
Their school schedules, their extracurricular activities and your personal obligations can all play a role in the best custody arrangements for your family. When your young children are about to start school, it may be time for you and your ex to update your parenting plan.
Occasional modifications are necessary
There are some parents who will become unnecessarily litigious after a divorce. They will drag their ex back into court over every little issue. It’s important to understand that requesting an update to your parenting plan so that your division of responsibilities and parenting time reflect what the children need is not frivolous or malicious.
Instead, ensuring that both of you have adequate time with the children will be in the best interests of the kids. The two of you can potentially work together in an uncontested modification filing where you ask for specific changes to the parenting plan.
Otherwise, you may need to ask for a contested modification. The hearings for a contested change to your parenting plan would require that you demonstrate that the suggested revisions are in the best interests of the children. A judge may alter both the division of decision-making authority and parenting time in a modification hearing. Updating your shared custody arrangements with a formal modification will help minimize the stress on parents and the conflict they have with one another.