When Things Aren't Working: Modifications And Enforcement

It's no secret that life isn't the same after a divorce or separation. You or your ex may change jobs, move to a new town or out of state, start dating again or remarry. These changes can affect your ability to parent your children together, and your child custody agreement may no longer work the way it used to.

Since 1992, I've seen countless ways things can go wrong with parenting plans, from one parent refusing to follow the agreement to sudden accidents that throw everything into disarray. I can help you figure out what's wrong and how we can fix it. Changing your custody agreement may mean changing your child support agreement as well.

When Should You Change A Parenting Plan?

You may be able to work out some minor changes directly with the other parent. For example, you may agree to switch who picks up the kids from school during months they have soccer practice after school. But larger changes should be filed with the court, even if both parents agree that a change is necessary. If only one parent thinks something needs to be changed, it will be necessary to petition the court.

Some major life changes that could prompt a change in your custody agreement include:

  • One parent moving out of state
  • Significant changes in one parent's work schedule
  • One parent remarrying
  • A serious accident or change in the health condition of a parent or child
  • Concerns about abuse or neglect

Sometimes the plan itself is fine, but the other parent isn't following it. In that case, you would most likely seek an enforcement action rather than a change to the original agreement.

Give Me A Call If Things Aren't Working

It's OK if you don't know what the best solution is yet; I'll help you find it. Call me, attorney Jackie Gonz, at 573-303-3015 or send me an email. I work with clients throughout southeastern Missouri, including in St. Francois, Jefferson, Perry, Ste. Genevieve and St. Louis counties and St. Louis city.