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Changing the parenting plan after divorce

Custody agreements and parenting plans can be the hardest part of a divorce negotiation. Sometimes the results were not what you wished for, either because the judge made a decision or you were not in a position to actively coparent.

Things change over time, however, and you may want to revisit your parenting plan or custody agreement by modifying it. This can be modified and submitted to the court for approval, or the matter can once again be litigated before a judge. These are essential legal processes that often require the guidance of a knowledgeable family law attorney, but a parent can also help their case.

Being the best possible parent

Divorce is hard on children regardless of how friendly the parents are, but a parent will need to foster a strong relationship with the child if it is to work. According to family experts, the non-custodial parent will need to become more proactive in the lives of their children. It may have been once easy to be a part of their daily lives, but you now need to shift priorities. Parents can do this by:

  • Stay in contact: Check in on days you do not see the children, either by phone, text, Skype, or Facetime.
  • Be reliable: Show up on time, do what you promise and be present when spending time together.
  • Attend events: Go to their baseball games, school field trips and conferences, dance recitals, or important family gatherings.
  • Be available: Be the hero by picking up a child when the other parent has an emergency even if it is not your time.
  • Act like an adult: Take the high road and do not speak badly about a spouse or share details of the divorce with the children.
  • Stay in contact with the parent: Have an established method of communication and use it.

Things change

The family’s needs change over time. It may be parents becoming more involved or changing jobs, children getting older and having different needs, or other circumstances unique to the family. An attorney can help a divorced parent manage these changes with a minimum of stress, or they can step in to help protect your parental rights when a dispute arises.