Modification of parenting plan has two components; minor modification, and major modification.
The court may make minor modification in residential provisions of a parenting plan as so long as the changes do not change the primary residence of the child and (a) does not exceed 24 full days in a year or (b) the modification is based on a change of residence or involuntary change in work schedule by a parent which makes the residential schedule in the parenting plan impractical to follow, or (c) does not result in a schedule that exceeds ninety overnights per year in total.
Major modification addresses change of child’s residence. If one of the following four conditions exist, the court may order a major modification: a) the parents agree to the modification, b) the child has been integrated into the family of the petitioner with consent of respondent, c) the child’s present environment is detrimental to the child’s physical, mental and emotional health, or d) the court has found the non moving parent in contempt of court at least twice within three years because the parent failed to comply with the residential time provisions of the court ordered parenting plan. However, the custodial reversal in the case to contempt (part d) is not required and will not be ordered unless it is shown that it is in best interest of the child.
In Washington, the court will not hear motion for modification of parenting plan unless it finds adequate cause first.
Modification of a parenting plan is not favored by the courts unless it passes certain statutory provisions, and it must be ultimately in the best interest of the child.
One big mistake is to petition for modification in order to reduce child support payment. Courts do not look upon this kindly and will make harsh decisions against the petitioner. It is also a big mistake to voluntarily give up custody of a child in exchange for no child support. Non custodial parent will pay child support regardless of what the parties have agreed; because the child support is statutory and the courts have to order child support.
If you feel you your visitation schedule is not working or that you want to modify the existing parenting plan, contact Celebi Law Office for a free consultation. We represent both mothers and fathers.