Whenever a couple with children divorce, a parenting plan helps facilitate the transition by outlining the terms of custody and visitation as well as other issues that affect their child. Once the parenting plan is accepted by the court, it is official and enforceable: violations of the parenting plan have serious consequences, including loss of custody.
If, however, one or both parents want to change the original parenting plan, the court allows for modifications in most circumstances. New York law provides parents with 3 options for parenting plan modifications: coming to an agreement on their own, using custody mediation, or litigating the proposed modification in family court.
The easiest way to modify a parenting plan is when both parents agree with the changes: the modified parenting plan is simply filed and (usually) accepted by the court.
When couples don’t agree on the proposed changes to the parenting plan, they can either choose to use a custody mediator or to take their case to family court.