Parenting Plan Modifications in Spokane County

Parenting plan modifications in Spokane courts happen daily. You know, Life happens, and not always in the way we envision. Any changes will have to be significant, though, for a Spokane County judge to amend your parenting plan.

A parenting plan is supposed to provide stability for divorcing parents and their children. So it’s easy to see why courts are reluctant to tinker with them once they’re adopted. You’ll have to jump through some legal hoops: file a petition for modification, hope the court commissioner agrees that a change is needed, write a new parenting plan, and, possibly, appear in court to argue your case.

The standard for Parenting plan modifications in Spokane is based on the legal standard of “substantial change”. you’ll need to provide evidence of a “substantial change” in situation or circumstance since the original plan’s approval.

Perhaps one of the parents has moved farther away or closer to the child. Maybe the other parent has evidence of frequent and debilitating alcohol or drug abuse, or has gone to prison. Perhaps the child has simply grown up a bit — a minimum of two years is usually required from the time of the original plan’s approval — and needs a schedule more in line with changes in a school requirements or extracurricular activities.

Sometimes, a parent’s failing to abide by the original plan can justify a change. One of my clients had a plan calling for regular visits between her young children and their father — but the father never showed up. In three years, he had not visited or even contacted his children.

My client began to fear that, one day, the father might insist on taking the children on vacation with him, as the parenting plan allowed. Imagine how traumatic it would be for these children to be taken away from home by a man who had become, by then, a stranger! And yet, he resisted our proposal to modify the plan in a way that would give her full custody. Fortunately, the courts agreed with us.

Parenting plan modifications in Spokane will require the court commissioner to be persuaded of the substantial change

Spokane County judges don’t make these kinds of changes lightly, however. They’re often very reluctant to deprive a parent of custodian or visitation rights.
Has your ex been drinking heavily? Sorry — that’s not good enough. Getting drunk isn’t against the law, unless a person is also driving. You’ll need police reports and maybe eyewitness accounts to show that the drinking is adversely affecting the child.

Is your ex dating lots of different people, or even having sex with several partners? Promiscuity alone won’t convince a judge to take away parenting rights. If the other parent exposes the child to someone abusive, the courts may take action. Ditto with porn: a parent’s viewing it won’t count against him or her, but if the child is present or worse, viewing it also, the courts may agree to remove or reduce custodial rights.

If you think your parenting plan needs amending, your first step should be to consult a reputable lawyer. A good lawyer will not only tell you what the chances are of getting a change based on your or your child’s circumstances, but she or he can help you through the process, which can be quite complex.

A lawyer can also help you write a new plan to propose to the court, one that addresses not only custodial and visitation issues but also aspects you may not have considered, such as child support calculations and claiming the child as an exemption on income tax forms. Parenting plan modifications in Spokane County need to be set before the assigned commissioner; however, if there is no assigned court commissioner, the petitioning party must request the court for a hearing. For more information on how to do this, call our office, or visit the Spokane County Superior Court website.

If you think your parenting plan needs changing, contact Quiroga Law Office for a consultation. With our experience and expertise, we can help you discern, and do, what’s best for you and your child.

To contact a local attorney to help you write a new plan to propose to the court, please call (509) 927-3840 or click here.

Parenting Plan Modifications in Spokane County | Copyright @ 2014 Quiroga Law Office, PLLC