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What you need to know about modifying your parenting plan

Situations change, and a parenting plan created years ago during your divorce does not prove acceptable for your child’s current lifestyle. Perhaps your current meeting place puts you in traffic that lessens your child’s time with you. A job promotion may require your alimony to be adjusted so that you supply maximum support for your child.

In either case, a modification process in Missouri aids your family in adapting to changes in life. Coming to an agreement before submitting a motion makes the process run quickly and smoothly, but if both parties cannot agree, a judge will determine the best plan for your child.

Modifying your parenting plan in Missouri may give your child the fair time and visitation rights that he or she needs, or it may even improve safety and security in your child’s life.

Reasons to modify a parenting plan

Many reasons exist for the modification of a parenting plan in Missouri such as:

  • You accepted a new, higher paying position and alimony payments should adjust
  • A change in your job makes the exchange location unfeasible
  • Your child’s safety is at risk with your ex-spouse
  • Your child has grown and the current plan is not accurate for school or sports schedules
  • Your ex-spouse refuses to follow the current plan set in place

Filing the change with parents in agreement

  • File with the court: When parents agree to change aspects of the parenting plan, they file a change with a Missouri court. The filed document, called a stipulation, states that all information contained in the agreement proves true.
  • Judge accepts changes: Smaller changes are easier to obtain and less expensive to arrange. If parents agree on monetary changes, simple changes in pick-ups and drop-offs or time modifications, the court may approve the changes at a faster rate. Judges always keep the safety and best interest of the child in mind when approving or disapproving changes.

Before filing, mediate with your ex-spouse regarding potential custody changes, so that you, your ex-spouse and your child avoid the grueling process of trial.

Modifications with parents who disagree

  • File with the court: Missouri judges know that many parents find themselves in bitter custody battles, and one parent may be unwilling to adjust a parenting plan. Should an arrangement prove impossible to agree upon, the requesting parent files a Motion to Modify Child Custody.
  • A hearing and the decision: You and your ex-spouse deliberate in a court hearing, providing evidence for either side. The court will determine whether the modification to the parenting plan proves to better the life of your child.

The key to a positive modification process is communication. Communicate with your ex-spouse, communicate with your child and communicate honestly with the court. Although relationships may be contested, the security of your child proves the most important element by a judge.

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St. Charles, MO 63301

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