Parenting time or visitation is an element within a court order that parents can change if they have a reasonable circumstance that requires such. For example, a change in jobs, responsibilities or address may warrant an adjustment or modification to a parenting plan. The parents cannot automatically change the terms of the court order. If either party wishes to modify the order, someone must seek the assistance of an attorney who can file a motion to do such.

When Parties Agree to a Modification

In some cases, both parties will agree to change the parenting time portion of the court order. In such a case, the parties can contact an attorney who can submit a request to the courts for the modification. The parties will want to develop a modification proposal. Both parties will want to sign the proposal and then turn it over to the lawyer who will address the courts with it. Judges will not usually deny a modification if both parents agree to it, and it does not interfere with the child’s best interests.

When Parties Disagree About a Modification

Some parents may disagree on a modification. The non-custodial parent may feel as if he or she is being robbed of quality time with the child. In such a case, the parties may need an attorney to act as a mediator. The attorney can work with both parents to come up with a solution that works best for them. Alternatively, one of the parents can seek the assistance of a legal professional who will fight for his or her best interests. The modification request will have to go before judge, and the judge will consider several factors before he or she makes a decision on whether to grant the request.

Court Considerations

The main factor that the judge will consider in a modification request is the child’s best interests. The judge will want to ensure that both parents are trying to foster each other’s relationship with the child. Children need to have both parents in their lives to provide them with the most fulfilling life. Therefore, the judge will consider whether the parents have alternative communication means such as video chatting and phone conversations so that the child can contact the non-custodial parent in between visits. A parent can schedule an appointment for a consultation with a compassionate attorney who will help to find the fairest solution. To speak with a Tempe child custody lawyer contact us online or by calling 480-345-2652.