A Permanent Parenting Plan sounds pretty final, doesn’t it? Thankfully, Parenting Plans are only “permanent” until they need to change. Revising Permanent Parenting Plans is a two step process.
First there must be a “material change in circumstances” in the life of the child. This is generally easy to prove, but some people miss the mark. Not any change is a material change in circumstances in the child’s life.
A parent getting a new job won’t cut it unless it affects the child in some way (such as requiring an alteration of the child’s schedule to accommodate the new work schedule). A move to a new home, changing schools, poor performance in schools, the child developing a new medical condition, or even just the parents not following the old PPP can be a change. Material changes in circumstances are usually pretty easy to find.
Once a material change in circumstance is established, the Court must then enter a new parenting plan consistent with the best interests of the child.
Courts are charged with maximizing the participation of each parent in the child’s life consistent with the best interests of the child. Typically, judges start at a presumption that each parent will get 50% of the time with the children and then adjust based on how the precious parenting plan was weighted, and 15 custody factors which range from the affection between parent and child to which parent has been the primary caregiver to how well the parents can co-parent with each other.
Not all factors are created equally- some judges give great weight to some while others barley give them any thought. It’s also important to note that preparing a custody case is an exercise in building up the parent that wants more time. The difference in the mind of a judge between wanting more time and wanting to take time away from the other parent is enormous. Knowing how to effectively prepare to present a case base don these factors is key to a successful outcome.
Looking to revise a Permanent Parenting Plan? Attorneys at Held Law Firm would be glad to help. Call 865-685-4780 to schedule a case assessment.