When you and your child’s other parent get divorced or choose to separate, it will likely be necessary to create a parenting plan. Generally speaking, courts in New York and throughout the country will allow you to make changes to a custody or visitation schedule. Plans might be altered for a variety of reasons, such as the other parent moving or your belief that the other parent isn’t adhering to the current schedule.

Parents can make changes on their own

You and your child’s other parent will ideally attempt to change a parenting plan without going to court. If you and this person have trouble communicating, it may be possible to enlist the help of a counselor or some other neutral party. Working with a neutral party may make it easier to focus on the issues related to raising your children as opposed to issues between yourself and your former partner.

A judge may agree to issue a modified custody or visitation order

If there is no hope of resolving custody or visitation privately, you should consider filing a petition to alter a parenting plan with a local judge. After the petition is received, you and the child’s other parent will attend a hearing where each side will present arguments to the judge. After listening to both sides, the judge will decide whether to modify a current agreement or leave it alone.

Evidence that might be used to bolster your claims in court

There are many types of evidence that you may use in court to increase the chances of obtaining greater parental rights. For instance, you could present a journal outlining all the activities that you and your child engaged in together. If your child is old enough, he or she could testify about his or her preferences.

As circumstances change after a couple separates, it may be possible for you to ask for greater custody rights. It may be best to do so with the help of a family law attorney.