When you are working on a parenting plan as part of your divorce, it is vital that you ensure the plan you agree to is one that you can live with. There seems to be a misconception that often comes up during these cases that involves one parent thinking that they will be able to have the agreement changed later. In some cases, getting a parenting plan changed can be a complicated matter.
If a modification of the parenting plan involves only changing the parenting time, or visitation schedule, it must meet certain guidelines. One of the criteria that must be met is that there must be a change in the child's best interests. This can include factors like the child's age, failure to hold to the parenting agreement, changes in the child's needs, or changes in the child's living arrangements.
Generally, the threshold for showing that there are changes that meet the requirements is low. This doesn't mean that parents can head right back to court to change the arrangement. Instead, alternative dispute resolution is usually required. If the parents can't come to an agreement, the case might end up before a judge for a trial. In that case, the criteria are much more strict.
It is vital that any parent who is seeking a modification of a parenting plan in Tennessee understand the laws governing these modifications. This is especially important if one parent is unwilling to use alternative dispute resolution to resolve the issues. Seeking out answers about your case as soon as you realize a change is necessary might help you decide what to do.
Source: Tennessee Bar Association, "Modification of Permanent Parenting Plans in Tennessee," Marlene Moses, accessed Oct. 15, 2015