If you have a parenting plan in place, but feel that certain provisions for the new school year would be beneficial for the entire family, now is the time of year that you should be making moves to start the modification process.
There are a multitude of reasons why parents opt to modify their parenting plans in relation to the school year: perhaps their children have outgrown the previous visitation schedule, maybe extracurricular activities are posing an issue with scheduling, or transitioning houses in the middle of the week no longer makes the most sense for the family. If you’re noticing that the transition that once worked is now serving as a negative aspect for your kid, rather than a positive one, modification may be in everyone’s best interest.
For example: whereas you may have practiced a parenting plan with your three-year-old child that allotted visitation with both parents throughout the week, a middle school child may be better suited for a week on, week off schedule. There’s flexibility with parenting plans, and if you and your ex are able to come to an agreement together, you can modify these plans without going to court. Don’t hesitate to include your child in on the conversation as well—they likely also have an opinion on certain schedules that would be preferential.
Whatever the reason for the modification, if this past school year brought forth awareness on areas of your parenting plan that you would like to change, early spring is the advised point in time to start the process. It’s not uncommon for parents to wait until the end of the school year to contact an attorney about modifications. However, getting an earlier start on the process, typically around March, is the recommended approach. Modifications typically take about 5-6 months to set in place, so now is the time to act if you want to have everything squared away before the eventful days of work and school draw near in August.
Pacific Cascade Family Law understands that change can sometimes be challenging, but having the flexibility to bend with your children’s various schedules might make everyone’s lives a little easier. If this past school year brought light to areas of your parenting plan that just aren’t working anymore, start the modification process now that it can be in place and ready to go by the first day of school.