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Parenting Plan Amendments

When Can A Parenting Plan Be Amended?

In Montana, courts have discretion whether to amend parenting plans when there has been a substantial change in the child’s circumstances subsequent to the prior plan, and amendment is necessary to serve the best interest of the child.

What Factors Are Considered In Determining An Amended Parenting Plan?

Like an original parenting plan, an amended parenting plan is determined according to a child’s best interests. In addition to the factors set forth in the best interest statute, the Court will also consider whether the parents agree to the amendment, whether the child has been integrated into the family of the petitioning parent with consent of the parents, whether the child is 14 years of age or older and desires the amendment, whether one parent has willfully and consistently refused to allow the child to have any contact with the other parent, whether one parent has attempted to frustrate or deny contact with the child by the other parent, and whether one parent has changed or intends to change the child’s residence in a manner that significantly affects the child’s contact with the other parent.

Is It Necessary To File An Amendment With The Court If The Parents Agree?

Parents are free to mutually change or adjust a parenting plan, and it is not necessary to file a parenting plan amendment with the Court every time an adjustment or change is made. However, if a conflict or dispute later arises, the written parenting plan filed with the Court must be followed. The parenting plan filed with the Court is essentially the default parenting plan which governs in the event of a dispute. Amendments should be filed with the Court to be enforceable.

Nothing is more important than your children. Their future is at stake. Call André Gurr at Garden City Law to help secure a parenting plan that will serve your children’s best interests and protect your rights. Prompt, precise, and professional service is guaranteed. Consultations are confidential, and usually free of charge. As an experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney in Missoula, André provides legal services throughout Western Montana, including Missoula, Mineral, Ravalli, Lake, Sanders, Flathead, Lewis and Clark, and Beaverhead County.