Divorce is a very stressful time for everyone involved, including your children. You may end up agreeing to things during the course of your divorce that really aren’t practical for you and your family in an effort to make the process go more smoothly – but what if you’ve made an agreement on something serious, such as parenting time, that really doesn’t work?
Modifying Custody vs. Parenting Time
Unlike a custody modification case, a parenting time modification case simply attempts to change the amount of time each parent spends with their children; it doesn’t try to change the kids’ residence or the legal rights of the parents to make important decisions about the children.
Many people feel that changing parenting time is easier than modifying custody, so these types of motions are a bit more common. Modifying custody requires substantive proof that children are not thriving in their current environment, usually due to the poor conduct of the custodial parent. However, modifying parenting time, or visitation, simply requires the requesting parent to show that the change in schedule will be better for the kids.
For most families, modifying parenting time is the ideal solution. One parent doesn’t have to prove that the other is unfit; instead, all that the court needs to see is that the kids will benefit from the modification.
Even if you have been awarded joint physical custody of your children, that does not mean that you are automatically entitled to half of their time.
Why People Seek to Modify
Once the difficulties of divorce are over, many parents feel that they’re not getting enough time with their children. Perhaps this has happened to you; maybe you’re available to pick up your kids from school or you’d like to have more overnight visits throughout the week. No matter what the circumstances, what you need to do is prove that you are capable of seeing your children more and that the court granting your request will be beneficial to the kids.
Avoiding Parenting Time Modification
In some cases, one parent requests to modify parenting time for the wrong reasons. When this happens, the courts generally see right through the other parent’s strategy – but most people find that it’s helpful to work with a parenting time modification lawyer who can help ensure that the whole story comes out in front of the judge.
Always a Free Consultation
You don’t have to do this alone; you deserve to have someone fighting for what’s best for your children. Call us at 763-323-6555, so we can evaluate your situation free of charge.