A parenting plan is a legally enforceable agreement that outlines each parent’s rights and responsibilities. It should also resolve some logistical issues and set out processes for how important child-related decisions will be made and how child-related information will be communicated.
By their very nature, parenting plans are not meant to be static. Life is inherently unpredictable, and your circumstances can change at any moment. A parenting plan that worked perfectly five years ago may be wholly ineffective tomorrow. This is why New York family law courts allow for parenting plan modifications.
When Can a Parenting Plan Be Modified In New York?
A parenting plan that has been finalized is always subject to change. That being said, neither parent has the unilateral right to alter the plan. To get a parenting plan modified in New York, there are very careful procedures that must be followed. It highly recommended that parents who are seeking a parenting plan modification seek assistance from a qualified Albany divorce modification lawyer. As a general rule, there are two basic types of parenting plan modifications:
- Modifications that both parents want; and
- Modifications that only one parent wants.
If both parents are in favor of the proposed modification, then it will be much easier to get it approved. While New York state family law courts will not act as a ‘rubber stamp’ for parents, courts are willing to grant parents considerable leeway in cases where both parents agree upon the proposed modification. If you want a modification, you should keep this in mind: you will have a much higher chance of success if you get the other parent on your side.
What If My Former Partner Refuses to Agree to a Parenting Plan Modification?
In cases in which both parents do not consent to the proposed modification, New York family law courts can still grant it. However, in these types of cases, it is imperative that you are able to present a strong legal case. Under New York state law, you will be required to prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. In addition, you will be required to prove that your proposed parenting plan modification is a sensible way to address the substantial change in circumstances. If you find yourself in this type of situation, you should be represented by a skilled divorce modification attorney in New York.
Parenting Plans Should Always Be Updated for Changing Life Circumstances
You should not be flippant about seeking a modification to your parenting plan. This is a serious issue, and any proposed modifications must be carefully considered. At the same time, you should also not be overly cautious when seeking modifications to your parenting plan. If there has been a substantial change in circumstances, and your parenting plan is simply no longer adequate to support the best interests of you and your child, you should speak to an experienced New York child custody lawyer about seeking a modification to this plan.
Contact Our Albany Modifications Attorneys Today
At The Colwell Law Group, LLC, our New York family law lawyers have deep experience representing parents seeking the modification of their parenting plan. To learn more about what our law firm can do for you, please contact us today for a confidential consultation. With offices in Albany and Saratoga Springs, we represent parents throughout the New York’s Capital District.