When you and your child’s other parent initially agreed to a time-sharing arrangement, it was based on your circumstances at that time. As time passes and your child gets older, the situation can change drastically. Your child’s interests and schedule might change, one parent might move farther away, and other changes might take place. It is common for a time-sharing agreement to become impractical – or even impossible – to follow.
Non-compliance with a time-sharing court order can have consequences, however, so you never want to ignore the situation. Instead, there are steps you can take to adjust your time-sharing schedule to better suit your life and the life of your child.
First, you should discuss your concerns and recommended changes with your child’s other parent. If you initially were able to agree on an arrangement, and you are successfully co-parenting, it is often possible to agree to modify the arrangement. If you agree on a new schedule, you can present it to the family court. The judge will approve the modification if it is in the best interests of the child, and you can move forward with the new arrangement.
If you cannot reach an agreement for some reason, the parent wanting the modification will need to petition the family court that issued the initial order. The other parent will have the opportunity to argue their opposition to a modification before the judge, and then the judge will make a final decision. Whether you need to negotiate a modification or need to go to court, it is critical that you have the right Melbourne family lawyer representing you.
At Harnage Law, we walk clients through the process of modifying time-sharing orders, as well as support orders. Contact us so we can review your situation and advise you of your options.