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Kansas Motion to Modify Parenting Plan

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Material Change in Circumstances

Under KSA 23-3218, modification of a child custody or parenting time order may be had upon a showing of a material change in circumstance. A material change in circumstance can quite literally be anything, so long as it impacts in some way the best interests of the minor child or children at issue. In many cases, a parent is moving to modify custody or parenting time based on a bad or wrongful act or by the other parent, which has negatively affected the best interests of the minor children.  Other times, a parent is filing a motion to modify parenting time because the children are older and the parent filing the motion previously agreed to less time than he or she now believes is in the best interests of the children.  Perhaps the parent filing the motion no longer has to travel as much for work or has started to play a larger role in the children’s lives than before.  Some parents file motions to modify, because the other parent is not exercising the parenting time ordered by the Court, or has been withholding the children in violation of Court orders. The point is is that there is no universal reason why a custody or parenting time order should be modified other than there has been a material change in your specific set of circumstances.  The child’s best interest standard in KSA 23-3203 outlines factors to be determined in making determinations to modify custody or parenting.

Motion to Modify Parenting Plan Process

In Kansas, a motion to modify is filed within the preexisting case, typically in an divorce case or a parentage action.  The parent filing the motion to modify must serve formal notice on the other parent, and give that parent an opportunity to respond within 21 days. The parent filing a motion to modify is required to file a proposed parenting plan and in some cases, a UCCJEA affidavit.  Motions to modify are a big part of a family law practice, and can be in many ways more important than the original action.  There are nuances to the litigation and/or successful negotiation of a motion to modify a parenting plan.  The experienced child custody litigators at Fairbanks DeMarco are happy to discuss your specific set of facts and circumstances in determining whether to file a motion to modify, how to successfully defend a motion to modify, or the best way to resolve a motion to modify.

Mediation

As in any child custody dispute the parties are expected to, and in many cases will be ordered to, attend mediation prior to proceeding adversarialy in front of the court If the parties cannot agree to resolve their child custody or parenting time dispute alternatively, the court will allow the parties to proceed at hearing in asking the court to make a best interest determination and issue an order modifying the parenting plan.

Final Modified Parenting Plan

Upon the issuance of an order to modify, a modified final parenting plan shall be issued and incorporated into the court’s orders.  Although a parenting plan may be titled “final,” there is technically no such thing as a final parenting plan, due to the fact that issuance of a child custody, residency, or parenting time are always modifiable upon a material change in circumstance.  This means that until your children are emancipated there is always a chance circumstances could change so significantly that a modification to your parenting plan would be justified or necessary. It is smart to consult with an experienced divorce attorney in the jurisdiction and venue in which your case sits.  Someone who knows both the law and the system can help you navigate each skillfully and for the most cost-effective result.

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