You may think that all the negotiating and arrangements are complete once the judge declares you legally divorced, but visitation schedules may require you and your ex-spouse to periodically alter agreements as both of your circumstances change. This is a natural part of co-parenting, but one that is often aided with the help of a mediating attorney. The Ohio State Bar details everything you should know when you need to change your parenting plan.


First, it can be difficult to make changes if your spouse disagrees with your proposed arrangement. If this is the case, your ex-spouse will need to be officially “served” in order for the two of you to meet with lawyers and modify the agreement. In this situation, you will need to file papers as soon as possible. Depending on the complexity of your case, it can take up to 12 months for the entire process to be completed.


Next, you must be prepared to tell the court why you are requesting a modification. This can be major life changes that have happened to you, the children or your ex-spouse. The courts will consider the changes and make a decision based on the best interest of the child. If your children are old enough to state their own wishes, the judge will take this into consideration.


If you and your ex-spouse cannot agree on a new visitation schedule, the court will make the decision for you. You will be allowed to argue your case, but a judge will make the final call. While this information is meant to educate, it should not be considered as legal advice.