Modify Your Parenting Plan Effectively

How do I make a parenting plan to begin with?

You can write up your own parenting plan (on your own or with the other parent) or you can work with a lawyer or legal professional and have them create it. If you don't want to pay the high cost of a lawyer, and want to easily make your own agreement, you can use the Custody X Change software.

Bring calm to co‑parenting. Agree on a schedule and plan. Be prepared with everything documented.

Make My Parenting Plan Now

When is modifying a parenting plan allowed?

You are allowed to modify a parenting plan once it is approved in family court as long as you can show that the current plan is no longer meeting your children's needs.

The family court is interested in promoting the children's best interests, so once you realize your plan needs to change, the process isn't too difficult.

While the process for modifying a parenting plan may differ from state to state, there are generally five steps you must go through:

  1. Get the appropriate paperwork for your state on filing a modification to your parenting plan.
  2. Fill out the paperwork, specify what you are revising, and supply supporting documentation for the changes.
  3. File the paperwork with your local court and keep copies for yourself.
  4. Notify the other parent about the filing, and deliver a copy of the papers.
  5. Appear at the hearing to answer any questions about the modifications.

If the judge finds that your reasons are compelling enough, they approve the modifications to the parenting plan.

What events can trigger modifying a parenting plan?

There are several things that may prompt you to modify your parenting plan, such as life events or changes to your children's needs. To help the family court understand why a modification is needed, you may want to keep records of major changes.

Among the more common reasons you may need to change your parenting plans are:

  • Change in jobs for you or the other parent
  • Remarriage for you or the other parent
  • Relocation for you or the other parent
  • Changing schools or school schedules for your children
  • Negative effects on development in the children due to current plan
  • Maturation of children that requires more age appropriate schedules
  • Unfit parenting status for you or the other parent

You may wish to change whole sections of the parenting plan, or just update an area or two. Make modifications to the document easily when you use Custody X Change to create and revise your parenting plan.

The software allows you to make sample changes to the existing plan as well as to the custody schedule so you can include your proposals with the modification paperwork you submit.

What's the first step to modify a parenting plan?

The first step when modifying a parenting plan is to identify exactly what the problem is with the current plan, then develop a solution. Many parents keep a parenting journal to track problems and make notes about how their children are responding to different parts of the parenting plan.

Here are three examples of problems and solutions:

  • Your child was a toddler when you separated, and your parenting plan did not allow for overnight visits with the other parent. Now that your child is in elementary school, you both agree that it's time for every other weekend at the other's home.
  • The other parent is moving a few hours away due to a new job and you currently have joint physical custody. You want to modify the parenting plan and the custody arrangements so that you will have sole physical custody.
  • Your teen has decided he wants to change the visitation schedule to alternating weeks at each home. This is so he can have more stability for school and extracurricular activities and not feel so transient. You and the other parent agree that a new schedule will help him stay on top of homework and focus more on school.

In order to strengthen your position with the other parent and the family court, gather as much documentation as you can.

Create a sample parenting plan using Custody X Change to present to the court that clearly illustrates what changes and revisions you have in mind. You can print out your revisions to present to the other parent, your lawyer and the family court.

What do I need to know when modifying the parenting plan?

When you start the process of modifying your parenting plan, you must always keep the needs of your children at the front of your mind. The family court judge will not approve revisions to a parenting plan that does not favor positive development in the children.

Know that whatever revisions and modifications you make should be age appropriate for the children. If you are making a correction to the parenting plan, include changes that promote their needs rather than your own.

If your children are old enough to express themselves well, you may want to ask them about the changes you are considering. They may have some insight into solutions to the problem, or can let you know of other issues you might not be aware of.

If possible, meet with the other parent to discuss the modifications you are considering. Hopefully, you will be on the same page for the benefit of your children. If not, you can still request a modification to the parenting plan through the court.

Custody X Change is an award-winning program that allows you to create parenting plans on your own, or revise existing plans.

What if the other parent doesn't support modifying the parenting plan?

If the other parent doesn't support modifying the parenting plan, you can start the process on your own. If the changes can be shown to benefit the children, the judge will most likely approve the modifications.

While you and the other parent should ideally be on the same page, sometimes it's difficult to come together in agreement. Sometimes, the changes are required because of something the other parent has done or not done.

Here are some steps to start communicating with the other parent about modifying the parenting plan:

  1. Keep track of the particular problem in a parenting journal.
  2. Let the other parent know about the problem and that you'd like to discuss it.
  3. Show the other parent examples of the problem and ask if they've noticed any examples.
  4. Offer a few different solutions to the problem.
  5. Be open to negotiations with the other parent in finding the ultimate solution.
  6. Proceed ahead with the modifications if you can't reach an agreement.

As long as your modifications can be backed up with evidence that your children need the changes, the revised parenting plan is likely to be approved. Use Custody X Change to create a clear, neat plan for the proceedings.

How can I tell if modifying a parenting plan is working?

Keep a parenting journal so that you can tell if your parenting plan modifications are working. Document any instance of problems or issues that result from the parenting plan.

Note that there will be an adjustment period with changes to a parenting plan or custody schedule, and you should allow some time to pass before gaining a true understanding of the lasting impacts.

The Custody X Change online app includes a journal feature that connects your notes to specific days on the custody schedule. As needed, you can print out your parenting journal for reference or to hand to the other parent to start communication.

Ultimately, the family court wants parents to make modifications to the parenting plan as often as needed in order to promote a healthy, stable and loving environment for your children.

The easiest way to make a parenting plan

Creating a parenting plan on your own can feel overwhelming. You have to be sure to use airtight legal language and can't omit any required information.

Use technology to take the guesswork out of the equation. The Custody X Change app walks you through each step of creating a comprehensive parenting plan.

The result is a professional document that demonstrates your competence as a parent and secures your child's future.

The easiest and most reliable way to make a parenting plan is with Custody X Change.

Bring calm to co‑parenting. Agree on a schedule and plan. Be prepared with everything documented.

Make My Parenting Plan Now

Bring calm to co‑parenting. Agree on a schedule and plan. Be prepared with everything documented.

Make My Plan


50/50, 60/40, 70/30, 80/20

Long distance schedules

Third party schedules


Summer break

Parenting provisions


How to make a schedule

Factors to consider

Parenting plans:

Making a parenting plan

Changing your plan

Interstate, long distance

Temporary plans

Guides by location:

Parenting plans

Scheduling guidelines

Child support calculators

Age guidelines:

Birth to 18 months

18 months to 3 years

3 to 5 years

5 to 13 years

13 to 18 years


Joint physical custody

Sole physical custody

Joint legal custody

Sole legal custody

Product features:

Software overview

Printable calendars

Parenting plan templates

Journal what happens

Expense sharing

Parenting time tracking

Calculate time & overnights

Ways to use:

Succeed by negotiating

Prepare for mediation

Get ready for court


Bring calm to co‑parenting. Agree on a schedule and plan. Be prepared with everything documented.

Make My Parenting Plan Now

No thanks, I don't need a parenting plan