Many issues at the heart of a divorce require long periods of consideration and negotiation. Of the many legal matters that can arise in these contexts, allocating parenting time when children are shared by the divorcing or separating couple is often profoundly emotional and quite complex. After the divorcing parties agree to the parenting schedule, or the court orders a specific allotment of parenting time in more litigious proceedings, the order may remain in place until the child or children reaches the age of a majority or otherwise are no longer serving as dependents.
However, in some cases, one or both parents may find that the original parenting schedule no longer serves their child’s best interests for any number of reasons. When this happens, it may be an opportune moment to call a Toronto parenting time modification lawyer who could offer assistance throughout the entire legal process. A well-practiced custody lawyer like Paul Riley could help you understand your rights and what options for supporting or opposing a modification may be open to you.
While there may be valid reasons to modify an existing parenting plan, neither you nor your child’s other parent should stop adhering to the current order. Violations of parenting plans can be met with severe consequences in Toronto, and enforcement by the court could take the form of outcomes ranging from fines to jail time. The process can be relatively smooth when you and your former spouse agree to the modification; however, when you disagree with the request for the modification or its terms, the process can become decidedly more convoluted.
Moreover, it is essential to understand that there are particular grounds upon which the court will approve modifying an existing parenting plan. As such, it is best to work with an accomplished Toronto lawyer on all parenting time modification matters, whether you are seeking a modification or pushing back against a modification request.
Typically, to obtain a modification of parenting time, there must have been a fundamental change in the underlying set of circumstances that preceded the original order that could not have been anticipated when the parenting plan was set forth. Such a fundamental change can take various forms and stem from an alteration in the situation of either parent or the child. For example, suppose you or your former spouse are looking to relocate or have accepted a new job, or your child is facing a situation where they need to move closer to a particular school that better aligns with their academic requirements. These are circumstances in which either party may potentially look to modify the current allotment of parenting time.
Parenting time refers to a child’s living situation as it relates to each parent. Often, parenting time is shared between both parents unless it directly opposes the child’s best interests. On the other hand, it is not unusual for just one parent to have decision-making responsibility—the right to make personal choices for the child. However, some arrangements may see both parents sharing this role.
Bear in mind that the child’s best interests do not simply refer to what the child wants, although the court may certainly factor this into the picture when looking at parenting time and any requests for modification. The judge may look at everything from:
A diligent Toronto lawyer could provide insight, advocacy, and step-by-step guidance in all such matters about parenting time, including modification cases.
As with all legal matters involving children, their best interests will remain the court’s chief and ultimate deciding factor, including parenting time issues. Whether you are a parent seeking to modify the parenting time allocated to you under the context of an existing order or wish to fight the request of your former partner proposing such a change, you should retain capable legal counsel.
A proactive Toronto parenting time modification lawyer like Paul Riley could help you file the necessary forms with the court, evaluate the proposed modification, help negotiate any changes or objections with the other side, and present a compelling case before the judge. Contact an experienced legal professional today to speak about your specific case and find out what legal routes could protect the interests and needs of your child.
Now you can have your Consultation with Paul Riley any time from the comfort of your own home. With video calls from Zoom, your Team at The Riley Divorce & Family Law Firm can meet with you virtually, and learn about your case. All you need is a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop with a built-in camera and microphone.
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