CanI be forced into a new parenting plan that takes time away from me ?

UPDATED: Aug 3, 2011

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CanI be forced into a new parenting plan that takes time away from me ?

I have a daughter that is getting ready to start pre-school and my ex-wife and I currently have joint custody and roughly a 50/50 split throughout the week. I get her on Tues, Wed, and Fri, or Sat depending on the week. She is trying to force me into only having her every other weekend which is unacceptable. Can she force me into this and, if not, what do I do?

Asked on August 3, 2011 Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A custody arrangement, if set out in an agreement between the former spouses or a court order, can be modified, but it can't be modified unilaterally by one party. That is, it can only be changed by agreement between the parents--and you do not have to agree--or by a court order, which order would typically be given only if it can be shown that the change is in the child's best interest in some fashion. Don't agree to the proposal, if you don't want to; and retain an attorney, who can advise you as to how best to document your disagreement and position, refute any claims or assertions made by your ex-wife, and then represent you in court, if necessary (such as if she brings a legal action seeking modification of the custody arrangement). Good luck.

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