The Importance of Formally Modifying Time-Sharing Agreements
When issues with a parenting plan arise, many co-parents seek to directly address those problems by entering into an informal arrangement that reflects the new changes. While it is often simpler, quicker, and less expensive to go this route, especially when a proposed modification is minor, co-parents are still generally encouraged to seek a formal modification when a change is significant or if the parties have a tenuous relationship, as failing to do so can have unforeseen consequences down the road.
Ultimately, how you go about modifying a time-sharing agreement or parenting plan can have important repercussions for the parties involved, so if you have questions or concerns about the effectiveness of your current time-sharing agreement, it is critical to speak with an experienced Fort Lauderdale child visitation and time-sharing attorney who can walk you through your legal options.
The Modification Could Affect Your Child Support Award
How much time a child spends with each of his or her parents directly affects how much those parties will be required to pay in child support. For instance, the more equal parenting-time is, the less a court will generally require the parties to pay in child support. This means that if two parents come to an out-of-court agreement regarding a change in time-sharing, one or both parties could end up paying an amount that doesn’t reflect the terms of the new arrangement. This in turn, can result in a parent violating a child support order without even realizing it, which can have serious repercussions. Most importantly, one or both parties could find themselves unable to financially provide for their child as they should.
Your Relationship with Your Co-Parent Could Change
Some parents come to informal custody agreements while under the assumption that their relationship will remain the same. This is, however, not always the case, as most co-parents are bound to face rough patches at some point in their co-parenting relationship. In some cases, for instance, the parties become increasingly resentful of or angry with each other. If this occurs and two co-parents lack a formal modification agreement, either party could go to the court and report a violation of the existing parenting plan. Those who lack written documentation proving that the informal agreement exists, could find themselves facing an uphill battle when it comes to convincing a court that they were acting in good faith.
An Experienced Fort Lauderdale Child Visitation and Time-Sharing Lawyer
If you and your child’s other co-parent want to change your existing parenting plan, you should speak with a lawyer before seeking a formal modification in court. Please call dedicated Fort Lauderdale child visitation and time-sharing attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 to learn more about the ins and outs of modifying your parenting plan. You can also set up a free consultation with a member of our legal team by completing one of our brief online contact forms.