Parenting Plan Modifications
Ensuring minor and dependent children are supported emotionally is one of the most important tasks I am faced with as a family lawyer. No two families we have ever worked with are the same. Every child has unique needs and a parenting plan outlines the nature of how both parents will interact with a child to meet those needs. It is with both a sensitive nature and an appreciation for the best interests of children that our firm develops strategies for both creating and adjusting parenting plans.
A parenting plan outlines a custody schedule that divides responsibilities for basic caretaking and ultimately outlines the distribution of parenting time. In West Virginia you can modify an existing parenting plan (outlined in West Virginia Code 48-9-401 and 48-9-402) when there is a “substantial change in circumstances” since the entry of the current parenting plan or if other facts are present. Our clients typically modify their existing parenting plans when one parent demonstrates an inability to meet the responsibilities outlined in the existing plan, if one parent feels the involvement of the other is detrimental to the child’s overall wellbeing, a parent is relocating, or by agreement of the parents.
When exploring whether your parenting plan is meeting the needs of your child, other topics may often come up related to child support modification, custody modification, and decision-making. Each of these court-approved plans can be revisited if the circumstances are right. At Bechtel Family Law we can help you evaluate your options and assist in making good decisions for your child or children.
For either parent who has a child support order in place, you can petition the Family Court to increase (for the parent receiving child support) or decrease (for the parent paying child support) the amount of child support. In order to qualify for child support modification there must be an increase or decrease of at least 15% of the child support obligation based upon the child support guidelines and formula. A significant change in income could be for a host of reasons, among the most common are losing a job or a raise or new employment opportunity. Self-employed parents sometimes present complex income issues for child support purposes.
If you have questions about your particular situation and how or if child custody or child support modification may apply to your case, feel free to reach out to Bechtel Family Law.
Working with Attorney Michelle Bechtel
Attorney Michelle Bechtel excels in complex matters that require an analytical eye. Over the last two decades, she has used her extensive experience as a family law attorney to bring clarity to families of all sizes and with varied financial needs.
I can help you prepare if you wish to modify your existing parenting plan or are facing a request that will change your responsibilities in a parenting plan. I understand the laws, and have familiarized myself with hundreds of parenting plans, together we can ensure a solution and modification that is fair and supportable.