A parenting schedule is a plan ordered by the Indiana courts that establishes when each parent will have time with the child. The schedule is designed to provide stability and certainty for the child and to minimize conflict between the parents. The question is, when can this schedule be modified?
When the child’s needs change
As the child gets older, his or her needs will change. For example, a newborn baby may need more frequent feeding and diaper changes than an older child. A toddler may need more supervision than an older child. A teenager may need more freedom than a younger child. As the child’s needs change, so too may the parenting schedule.
A change in the child’s health can also be a reason to modify the parenting schedule. For example, if the child develops a medical condition that requires more frequent doctor’s visits, the parenting schedule may need to be modified to accommodate these appointments.
When the parents’ schedules change
If one or both of the parents gets a new job, starts school, or has some other change in his or her schedule, that may warrant a modification to the parenting schedule. Sometimes, a change in one parent’s schedule can make it difficult for the other parent to adhere to the schedule, and a modification may be necessary to accommodate the change per family law guidelines.
When the child’s residence changes
If the child moves to a new home, whether with one parent or both parents, that may necessitate a change to the parenting schedule. A move to a new city or state may also warrant a modification of the parenting schedule in order to make it more convenient for the child to see both parents.
When there is a change in the child’s family situation
If the child gains or loses a sibling, that may necessitate a change to the parenting schedule. If the child’s grandparents become more involved in his or her life, that may also require a modification of the parenting schedule.
In short, there are many reasons why a parenting schedule may need to be modified. If you are considering a modification to your parenting schedule, it is important to understand exactly what you are asking for and to have a good reason for the change.