If you went through a divorce that involved minor children, you were likely required to submit a Parenting Plan to the court as part of the divorce process. A Parenting Plan is intended to provide parents with a roadmap for co-parenting and stability for the children post-divorce. Circumstances often change, however, after a divorce which may prompt a desire to modify the existing parenting plan.
At Bennett | Michael | Hornsby we are committed to helping you navigate the parenting plan modification process to reflect the current needs and circumstances of you and your children.
Parenting Plan Modification Lawyer
Our parenting plan modification attorneys look forward to helping you if you are involved in the modification of an existing parenting plan.
Call for a free consultation so we can begin working for you.
What Is a Parenting Plan?
Tennessee law requires parents to submit a Parenting Plan if a divorce involves minor children. According to Tennessee Code Section 36-6-404, a Parenting Plan should accomplish things such as:
- Create a parenting time schedule.
- Decide who will have day-to-day and major decision-making authority.
- Decide who will pay for things such as medical insurance and expenses, day care, and extra-curricular activities.
- Set the amount of child support one parent will pay to the other.
- Provide a dispute resolution plan.
The Court must approve a Parenting Plan prior to finalizing a divorce. Once approved, the terms of the Parenting Plan are binding on the parties and cannot be changed without court approval.
Can a Parenting Plan Be Modified?
The law has long recognized that when children are involved, circumstances can change dramatically over time. As such, the law does allow for the modification of a Parenting Plan; however, it is important to understand that until a court has approved a change to the existing plan, both parties are legally obligated to abide by the existing terms.
What Is Involved in a Parenting Plan Modification?
If you and your former spouse agree on the proposed modifications, getting a Parenting Plan modified is relatively simple. You will, however, still need to reduce the proposed changes to writing in the form of a petition and get the court’s approval. While it may seem easier to simply make an informal modification of the Parenting Plan when both parents agree, keep in mind that without a court order reflecting the changes you could be found in contempt of court down the road.
If both parties are not in agreement regarding proposed changes to the Parenting Plan, a change in circumstances must be shown for a court to modify the plan. If the requested modification involves changing the primary residential parent, a “change of circumstances which materially alters the child’s well-being” is required. For any change to a Parenting Plan, the parent requesting the change must convince the court that the modification is in the best interest of the child.
To modify a Parenting Plan, a petition must be filed with the appropriate court. If the parents disagree on the proposed changes, the parents will usually be required to participate in mediation to try and reach an amicable resolution. If mediation is unsuccessful, the request to modify will be set for a hearing at which time a judge will decide whether to grant the modification.
The Murfreesboro parenting plan modification attorneys at Bennett | Michael | Hornsby look forward to helping you if you are involved in the modification of an existing parenting plan. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.
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