If you have been through a
divorce, you probably don’t need to be reminded that life can be unpredictable
at best. And yet you need to create a parenting plan at the time of your
divorce that is meant to last for the rest of your lives, or as long as
your shared child is considered a legal dependent. What are you to do
if something comes up and your preexisting parenting plan is no longer
a viable option for you? Can you get it modified later?
In Rhode Island State law,
post-divorce modifications to parenting plans are permitted, but only under certain circumstances.
You cannot hope to have a modification done simply because you changed
your mind; the court will want to see evidence of a major or unforeseen
life event that has shaken up your respective situations.
Circumstances that could permit the modification of your parenting plan include:
- Unexpected job loss
Relocation for employment
- Debilitating illness or injury
- Criminal conviction of either parent
- Either parent remarries
- Falsified claims in first agreement
My Life Changed – What Do I Do Now?
If you believe a significant life event has given you proper grounds to
file for modification to your parenting plan, the next step is to figure
out how it can affect said plan. Not all consequences will extend into
all facets of your life, at least not enough for the court to recognize
the need for a change.
Portions of your parenting plan that may need to be altered include:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Visitation rights
Example: You earn $400 of child custody each month and take care of your
child during the weekend. If you lost your job unexpectedly, you might
be able to increase the child custody you receive each month but would
probably still be expected to care for your child Saturday and Sunday.
Keep parental agreements in mind when tax season comes around as well.
The parent who has primary custody can claim your child as a dependent,
and often sees welcome tax breaks because of it. If you believe that you
should be able to claim your child as dependent despite not having primary
custody, you should consider talking to your ex-spouse about IRS Form
8332, which would permit you to claim dependency instead if the other
parent allows it.
For more questions regarding divorce and parenting plans, you can turn
to our compassionate and highly-experienced Providence family law attorneys
at TJC ESQ. Our law firm has been serving all of Rhode Island since 1989,
we are backed by positive
client testimonials, and we answer client calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Why not call
us now at
401.216.4414 to learn more about what we can do for you during a
free case evaluation? You have must to gain and nothing to risk!