Without Going to Court
There are several reasons you might want to modify the parenting plan (possession order) portion of your court order.
- You or the other parent has moved
- You or the other parent has an odd work schedule (like working nights or weekends) and cannot pick up the child according to the order
- You have other children who you are supposed to pick up at the same time and cannot be in two places at once
The most important thing to remember is that you and the other parent can AGREE to a visitation schedule different from what is written in your court order. It is only when you cannot agree that you must both must follow the order.
If you need help reaching an agreement, read about mediation and mediation alternatives.
Going to Court
If you cannot agree OR if you would like the court order to reflect your agreement, file a petition to modify your order.
Any party affected by an order can file a suit to modify the order. This usually includes the child’s parents, and possibly other relatives who have been appointed conservators.
A petition to modify can be contested (parties do not agree) or uncontested (parties agree).
An agreed modification needs the judge’s approval. If there is no agreement, the judge will weigh the pros and cons of both sides and make a decision for you. Below are resources for doing the modification yourself. If you and the other party cannot agree, either find a lawyer to assist you or call the Access and Visitation hotline at 1 (866) 292-4636, Monday – Friday from 1 – 7 p.m. and ask an attorney to guide you through the process. Spanish-speaking attorneys are available.