Parenting Plans: What Changes Can be Made Years after Divorce?

Parenting Plans: What Changes Can be Made Years after Divorce?

Divorce is an unpleasant experience that puts deep impacts on the entire family. While the court gives its verdict on the case, it explains the parenting plan to bring up the child in the most appropriate manner.

This plan is also subject to change years after the divorce had taken place. But these changes depend on when both ex-spouses are willing to change the previous plan. In the US, this change requires a certain timeframe and other factors which is different in each state. Moreover, the parents ensure that they will take care of the upbringing of the child in such circumstances.

In case one of the parents died, the other one can make the decision to change the plan any time unless the court’s judgment is involved which weakness the parent’s ability to change the plan. In this case, the parent has to hire a family law attorney, to devise his or her plans.

The option of Changing the Plan after Divorce:

Although the plans are finalized in divorce, it is possible to make the changes in parenting plans through mediation or court. As far as the cost is concerned, mediation is a cheaper option. But it again depends that both the parents are willing to change the plan and agree to the results.

For this, the communication is kept open and with the less formal procedure in general scenarios. The attorneys hired in this procedure are advisors or guides. It is up to both the parties to complete the meetings and proceed with the decision when they are ready.

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Involvement of Grandparents and Decisions:

When the ex-spouses make any decision regarding their parenting plan and agree on any point about their every child, it stays between the two of them. But, when the grandparents have custody, or if a mother or father dies, and grandparents receive the custody of the children, grandparent(s) have the final authority to make a decision.

When the plan is between the ex-spouse only, grandparents don’t have any authority or say in the decision. However, when the court requires grandparents to get involved, they can exercise the authority. Moreover, the spouses can involve the grandparents to help them with the process.

Decision Making Authority:

With the changes in the plan, the decision making authority may also change. If the couple agrees to the mediate the alternative plans, they should sit together, communicate and decide what changes to make and how.

This phase does not involve extended family members, provided they are not part of the parenting plan as decided by the court.

Cost Factor:

Changes in the plan through court is a costly affair. However, the judge makes a ruling decision that will affect both spouses and will need them to stick to the changes. If there is no alternative, they are required to follow the court judgment.

Mediation and Changes:

Changes in the Plan:

In most case, the plan remains the same years after the divorce. However, considering the needs of the child, some changes become necessary to make. These changes can include, extracurricular, programs, projects and afterschool clubs. The plan reflects the investment both parents have made in bringing up the child and his or her development. The final decision making remains with the parents and other parties don’t get involved in the details.

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Mediation in the Plan:

Mediation becomes the best options when the parents want to change the plan through legal way. Mediation is cheaper than litigation, as mentioned above, moreover, it provides an open dialogue and peaceful way to communicate for the involved parties.

When both the parents agree to communicate in an open and calm way, meditation becomes much easier than taking the matter to the court and letting the jury to decide.

Depending upon the age of the child, the parents specify the details, add or remove few details. For assistance in education and skills, this can include child support payments.

Legal Assistance: 

The parents may need to hire legal assistance if another party tries to make the decisions that were not part of the parenting plan. Moreover, the lawyer can also help in the mediation process through advice and recommendations in the right direction.

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