A responsive and intricately tailored shared parenting plan is priceless.
An initial custody arrangement will likely be made a court order.
As such, a court of competent jurisdiction retains and exercises continuing jurisdiction to modify or vacate its prior order or decree until the child reaches age 18.
So far, So Good?
Well, not so quickly.
Requests to modify custody orders are not taken lightly by the court.
Courts generally follow the following principals when determining whether or not to allow custody modifications:
* The initial custody arrangement sets the standard that serves as a basis for future determinations.
* A change in custody can be traumatic for a child and may undermine the stability and continuity a child has come to enjoy and need.
* A change must be in the child’s best interests.
* A substantial change in circumstances must have occurred since the last custody determination that warrants the change.
I do not practice law anymore so none of this is meant as legal advice.
I am a psychologist dedicated to helping parents create shared parenting arrangements that provide stability and a strong foundation for recovery from divorce for parents and children and can provide mechanisms to insure the healthy future development of all family members.
Taking the time to work out the details in a shared parenting plan with consideration of present and future needs of the children, can save families from the necessity of taking legal action to revise an agreement that was thrown together to get a divorce finalized.
It is true that a part of my mission is to help couples to resolve disputes in a timely fashion.
However, taking the time to engage in thoughtful shared parenting planning does not detract from the goal of a timely divorce process.
A thoughtfully crafted parenting plan can save time, heartache and money both at the time of divorce and in the years following by contributing to a divorce that is responsive to the needs of all of the parties and a divorce that contains less conflict overall.
The details of a parenting plan can make all of the difference for parents and children and play a critical role in helping the parties are to emerge from divorce happy and whole.