This is Colorado Springs Divorce Attorney Mary Daugherty of Daugherty Law LLC in Colorado Springs.
One of the many questions I get is how to modify a parenting plan. Here are a few steps that can help you get this done.
Why Do You Want To Modify A Parenting Plan?
First, let's go over why you might need to modify a parenting plan. The primary reason would be if the primary caregiver plans to relocate such that it would notably affect the child's relationship with the other parent. Otherwise, you should modify the parenting plan when doing so would be in the child's best interest.
For example, maybe one parent now works different hours than when the original parenting plan was ordered or perhaps a different parent is the primary caretaker than originally planned.
In addition, an emergency motion can be filed if there are allegations of crimes or domestic violence so serious that the child is in danger.
Getting Advice From An Experienced Attorney Is Highly Suggested
There are some complicated rules regarding when you can file a parenting plan, so it is good to speak with an attorney before filing.
Similar to your custody case or divorce, you and the other party will likely exchange sworn financial statements and financial documents before you agree to a new parenting plan. The parties may stipulate to a Modified Parenting Plan and submit a Joint Motion to Modify along with a proposed order and the judge will then will review, approve, and make your parenting plan the new order of the court.
Motion to Modify A Parenting Plan
Alternatively, one party may file a Motion to Modify Parenting Plan and allege why a modification would be in the child's best interest. This will re-open the doors of litigation. Both parties will then need to exchange financial documents and will likely be required to engage in a settlement conference or mediation before a court hearing.
Remember, if you want to modify child support, you’ll need to file a Motion to Modify Child Support as well, which follows a very similar process.
If you need help modifying your parenting plan or child support order, please call my office to schedule a consultation or schedule one online!