Whether you’re moving out of state or having a long-term change in your work schedule, you might wonder if you can modify a parenting plan without going to court. In Ohio, a shared parenting plan is always subject to modification. Since a parenting agreement is designed with the children’s best interests in mind, it is always open for change as the needs of the children change. 

There are several key reasons a court would consider modifications to a family agreement: 

  • The needs of the children have changed due to health, age, etc. 
  • A long-distance move or relocation
  • A long-term shift to a parent’s work schedule
  • A change in one parent’s ability to care for the children

Ohio Revised Code section 3109.04(E)(1) a) governs the modification of a shared parenting plan and provides, in pertinent part: “(a) The court shall not modify a prior decree allocating parental rights and responsibilities for the care of children unless it finds, based on facts that have arisen since the prior decree, that a change has occurred in the circumstances of the child, … and that the modification is necessary to serve the best interest of the child.”  

Do You Need a Lawyer for a Parenting Plan Modification? 

Once a judge has issued a final custody agreement or parenting plan, the agreement is legally binding. Unless the court approves a modification, both parents must adhere to the terms of the original agreement. Working with a lawyer can help you better understand the specific laws in Ohio and ensure you take the right steps in the event you need a modification. 

As long as you and the other parent agree to any custody agreement changes, the process is fairly smooth. You simply need to petition the court for a modification and get a signature from a judge. 

However, if you and the other parent are not in agreement about any changes in the parenting agreement, the issue can become more complicated. 

If parents cannot agree on a matter that requires mutual consent, they go through litigation, which ends with an Ohio judge deciding on any modifications in a hearing. The court can decide to accept the proof and grant the modifications requested by a single parent, or they can come up with different changes that have the children’s best interests in mind. 

Because of the complexity of child custody, it’s always recommended to enlist the support of an experienced family law attorney. 

What Proof is Necessary to Make a Change to a Parenting Plan

Any court case surrounding parental agreements requires a certain amount of proof. A divorce lawyer can help you show that there was a triggering event in your life that necessitated a change, as well as help you prove that the proposed changes are in the best interest of your children. 

The process isn’t always fast or easy, but if it’s in the best interest of your children, you should work with the other parent and an Ohio divorce lawyer to modify a parenting plan without going to court. 

Find a Divorce Lawyer in Ohio You Can Trust

When it comes to the custody of your children, you need the very best in your corner. Whether you are looking to create a parenting plan, modify one, or terminate an agreement, the Law Offices of Kenneth R. Kline LLC will help you make the right decisions for your family. Set up a free consultation with our office. 

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