As children and parents age, circumstances change. As the years go by, you may notice your existing parenting plan or child custody order is no longer feasible. It may be possible to modify the court order to accommodate the change in circumstances and the best interests of your child.
The ease and likelihood of altering a custody plan depend largely on the specifics of your situation. Here are some helpful guidelines for pursuing a child custody modification in Missouri.
Sometimes, a significant change is not necessary. For example, you may want to change the times, days or exchange locations. If this is the case, you may simply want to work out an informal agreement with the other parent. Usually, simple changes that do not change where your child lives most of the time do not require a formal filing or hearing.
If you are thinking about significantly changing the custody agreement, you can still work it out directly with your ex, but you will need to file the agreed upon changes with the court for it to be put into effect. The other parent may not want to go along with your goals of changing the plan. If this is the case, you need to show up to a hearing.
A hearing for a contested parenting plan
In the case that you cannot come to an agreement with the other parent, the court will ask you to provide evidence proving your arguments. The other parent may also provide evidence to counter your points. You must gather significant proof that a change is necessary for the overall wellbeing of your child.
Pursuing a parenting plan modification can be stressful and seem like an uphill battle. While there are some complexities to the case, it may be possible to change your parenting plan and give your child a better life.