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Do you need to modify your child custody or visitation plan?

One element of a divorce many people may not fully anticipate is the fact that while you may divorce your spouse if you had children and those children are still relatively young, you may wind up dealing with your child's other parent for another five, ten or nearly 20 years.

Additionally, if you have joint or shared custody, your child custody and visitation schedule will be a centerpiece of much of your life for many years. It will control when you have your child or children and on which holidays and birthdays. If your custody order was created when your child or children were very young, you may notice a few things as the years go by.

You will notice that some parts of your parenting plan or visitation schedule may no longer really fit the life of your children. You may need to change some elements of the plan, such as the residential schedule. Other factors, such as changes in your job or that of your children's other parent may also affect the nature of your schedule.

If you have work earlier or later or are required to travel regularly for your job, having a schedule with a lot of handoffs and that demands your presence for weeks at a time may not work. Because Kentucky does have a two-year waiting period before you are generally permitted to modify a custody order, you should take this into consideration when drafting your plan.

After those two years, if you need to modify the visitation schedule, the standard remains the "best interests of the child." Of course, this standard should guide all of your decisions for your child or children and should encourage both parents to work cooperatively for those best interests.

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