Updating Parenting Plans as Children Age

A divorce settlement has many moving parts, and if you have children, one of those is a workable parenting plan.

A parenting plan benefits the entire family. You can breathe easy because you and your ex-spouse know how you will handle holidays, special events, medical issues, etc. Of course, there will still be unexpected events that the parenting plan does not cover, but generally, having an agreed upon plan in place helps your life and the lives of your children run more smoothly.

However, there are times you need to modify your parenting plan, especially as your children age. Their needs change in regards to school, scheduling, visitation and more. For example, the following are possible reasons to modify your parenting plan:

  • Your child was young when you divorced, and the plan did not allow for overnight visits with the other parent. Now your child is older, and you agree they can have weekend visitation at the other’s house.
  • Your teen has a new schedule due to after school and extracurricular activities. They ask you to change the visitation schedule so they have more stability with school and other activities.
  • You currently have joint physical custody with your ex-spouse, but they are relocating soon. You modify the parenting plan, and other custody arrangements, so you have sole physical custody.

Whatever the reason for changing your parenting plan, you must always keep the interests and needs of your child above everything else. Additionally, depending on the age of your child, they may be able to give their insight into the situation as well.

The goal of a parenting plan is to provide a healthy, stable environment for your children. Carefully consider any updates you want to make to the plan, and how it could affect the family dynamic moving forward.