Parents aiming for an uncontested divorce and judges overseeing litigated divorce have to put a lot of consideration into parenting plans and custody orders. A good parenting plan focuses on the needs of the children while integrating the details of the parents’ schedules and other personal factors.
However much effort may have gone into the creation of your parenting plan, the terms may eventually become outdated. If your kids move to a different school or your career changes, you may need to completely shift the schedule.
What happens when your custody order is no longer effective at appropriately dividing parenting time and other responsibilities?
You can ask for a modification hearing
North Carolina allows parents to go back to court and ask for changes or modifications of their custody orders. A custody modification is a formal update to an order that carries the same weight as the original custody order. It offers you far more protection than an informal agreement with your co-parent
If the two of you are in agreement about the changes required, you can cooperate for an uncontested modification. Otherwise, you can present your case to a judge for a contested modification. Provided that the judge decides the changes are in the best interests of the children, they may grant your request or make other changes to the custody order.
A family law judge can also help enforce the terms of the existing order, possibly by awarding one parent make-up time with the children or clarifying rules to a non-compliant parent. Learning more about the laws that apply to North Carolina custody orders will help parents who share responsibility for their children with their ex.