Impermanency and Permanent Parenting Plans in Tennessee
Many families operate while utilizing a permanent parenting plan. This means that if you are in a situation where you need or want to change something about your current parenting plan – you are not alone, nor are you the first parent to walk down this road. This article aims to help you get a basic understanding of what you need to know about change and your permanent parenting plan.
Permanent Parenting Plans
Nowadays, it seems that the only constant is change. This may all be well and fine, but it can make lives hard for families who need to fit their changing lives inside the parameters of a fixed parenting plan that does not flex to the level that they need it to. You may want to change a child’s schedule to account for a new extracurricular activity, or a job change of one of the co-parents. Whatever the reason for the change, it is possible to request and achieve official changes to a permanent parenting plan
Paths to Change
There are essentially two ways you can modify, or change, your permanent parenting plan:
- Parents may agree to change the schedule and many of the other aspects in a parenting plan if they agree between themselves. For example, if two co-parents want to change a child’s schedule then they can (usually) make that change without getting a judge to rule on the schedule. The court has many important things on its docket. If and when parents can sort out their own schedules and agreements the court will encourage it, unless there is a significant reason not to. Generally speaking, it is only when one co-parent wants something or wants a change and the other parent opposes that change that court involvement sometimes becomes necessary.
- The court may, under certain circumstances, modify a parenting plan without both parents being in agreement with the change. This may occur if one co=parent desires a change, they cannot get their co-parent to agree, and the petitioning parent brings the matter to the court to request an official ruling/change. Generally speaking, parenting plans are meant to be constants. Changes may be approved by the court if and when there is a change of circumstances since the entry of the current parenting plan, and the court rules that the change would be in the best interests of the child involved.
A note of caution – any and all matters that deserve the court’s attention should be brought to the court’s attention. However, it is a possibility that the court may require a petitioning parent to pay the other parent’s attorney’s fees. This is not certain to happen, but you should be aware that it is a possibility.
Court Considerations in Modifying a Parenting Plan
The court may consider any evidence that is relevant in determining what is in the best interests of the children. This might include, for example:
- each parent’s history of providing for the needs of the children;
- the physical, mental and emotional fitness of each parent;
- the child’s wellbeing and physical surroundings at each home;
- the importance of continuity in the child’s life;
- evidence of abuse of any kind
Contact Fort, Holloway & Rogers
A final divorce decree and parenting plan is not the end of a family. Nor is a parenting plan immune from needing to incorporate changes over time. For professional advice and expertise on your own case, contact the experienced Franklin child custody lawyers at Fort, Holloway & Rogers today.