Divorced couples with children likely negotiated a Parenting Plan (also called an Allocation Judgment) that governs their custody arrangements for their children. Parenting Plans can be very detailed, but at a minimum, set forth who has authority to make significant decisions for the children and when the child is to spend time with each parent. A significant amount of time is spent detailing when the children are to spend time with each parent. A good Parenting Plan will specify how weekdays, weekends, holidays, school breaks, and special occasions will be handled. Even with a lot of specificity, a Parenting Plan cannot anticipate every change you or your former spouse may face in the years following your divorce. Change is inevitable. Below are some examples of changes that sometimes may warrant a change to your parenting time schedule.
At some point in your post-divorce life, you are likely to find yourself in a new job. A new job can require changes at home too. You may be working more or less often or at different times of the day. All of these can greatly impact your availability to spend time with your children. You may find yourself with a longer or shorter commute. In any event, you might be able to spend more or less time with your children as a result of a job change.
Whether you joined a choir at church, are volunteering for your favorite organization, or are going back to school changes to your personal life may affect your ability to available for your kids during your assigned parenting time. Sometimes these changes warrant a change to your parenting time schedule.
A move to a new home can cause a lot of upheaval. It changes your commute time to school and work. It may change your daycare options. It may simply make it more difficult to get your child to and from the other parent. These are very common reasons to reexamine an existing parenting time schedule.
Sometimes you have new duties such as taking care of a sick parent or a new child. These new responsibilities may cause you to want to change your parenting time schedule.
Your child may change. As kids grow older, increasingly have more activities away from home and spend more time with their peers. It may become less convenient to meet mid-week for dinner between school, practice, and studying. Similarly, they may become resentful if they have to spend weekends away from their friends. This is a common and typical reasons for changing a parenting time schedule.
Your child’s other parent can also undergo changes. They may have remarried, changed jobs, moved, or be caring for their own aging parents. Any of these changes may impact his or her ability or desire to follow the same schedule. Your child’s other parent may also behavior may have changed too, which if it negatively affects your child, would warrant a change to your parenting time schedule.
Strictly adhering to a parenting time schedule that doesn’t meet your current needs is not ideal for anyone. If your life is or has moved in new directions since you entered into your parenting time schedule, it might be time to modify it. A modification can be relatively straightforward, especially if your child’s other parent is agreeable, but it can also be somewhat complex.
Goodman Law Firm in Oak Brook, Illinois is a dedicated divorce and family law firm representing parents throughout all of Chicago and its suburbs. For a complimentary initial consultation on how we can help you with a child custody issue or your Illinois divorce contact us today.
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