How Do I Modify My Parenting Plan in Tennessee?

When the parents of a minor child end their marriage through divorce in the State of Tennessee they are required to work out a “Parenting Plan” as part of the process. The Parenting Plan is intended to be a roadmap by which the parents will parent the child post-divorce. Ideally, the parents are able to agree on the contents of the plan; however, if they are not able to agree the court will make decisions and incorporate those decisions into the plan. Whether you initially agreed with the terms of your Parenting Plan or objected all along, you may wish to change something about the plan down the road. This may lead to the question “ How do I modify my Parenting Plan in Tennessee?

The State of Tennessee, like many states, has taken significant steps in recent years to encourage parents to work together for the benefit of the children when the parents decide to divorce. Divorce can be an adversarial and contentious process with the children suffering as a result. By requiring parents to create a Parenting Plan the hope is that the parties will recognize the need to put the child’s best interest first both during and after the divorce. A Parenting Plan may include a wide variety of terms and decisions, such as:

  • Custody arrangements
  • Parenting time details
  • Who will discipline the child and what type of discipline will be used
  • Who will make decisions regarding education, healthcare and religion
  • Support for the child
  • Who will pay for healthcare
  • Who will be responsible for child care

If you decide at some point after the divorce that you wish to modify or change something about the Parenting Plan you will need to return to court to do so. As a general rule, you will need to show that there has been a “substantial change in circumstances” that warrants a change to the Parenting Plan. Depending on what aspect of the plan you wish to change, that might include showing that:

  • The current parenting time schedule is unworkable given the child’s schedule
  • There has been a significant change in income for one parent
  • The child now has health issues or problems that require an adjustment to the plan

If the other parent does not object to the requested change, modifying the plan will likely be relatively simple; although, the court will still need to approve the modification. If the other parent objects to the proposed modification you will need to appear for a hearing and convince the judge that the modification is necessary.

If you wish to modify your Tennessee Parenting Plan consult with the experienced Tennessee family law attorneys at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.

Dinah Michael