Updating Your Parenting Agreement When Circumstances Change

After going through the sometimes difficult work of establishing a parenting agreement, changing it may seem overwhelming. However, the opposite can be true. As children grow older and parents' lives change, the agreements you made during divorce or after separating may no longer fit your lifestyle or your children's needs.

At Westside Family Law, we aim to create agreements that last, but we also know that changes in your family's life are natural and expected. Whether or not you established your original agreement with our firm, we offer experienced counsel and guidance on how to change it should the need arise. We have decades of experience assisting families throughout Vancouver and the Lower Mainland with exactly these types of scenarios — experience we can put to work for you.

Why Would I Change My Agreement?

Parents may wish to change or vary a parenting agreement for a wide variety of reasons. No two situations will be exactly alike. In some cases, the original agreement hasn't worked as well as planned. Perhaps one parent hasn't fulfilled his or her obligations or has remarried. Maybe both parents now find the terms ineffective in meeting their children's current needs.

A far more common reason parents change agreements is that one parent wishes to move away, potentially with the children. They may want to move for a new job or to be closer to family. These situations could materially affect the children's overall well-being, and the Court may grant such moves, although this a very difficult decision for a judge.

As with the original agreement, the Court will look to ensure that the proposed changes protect the best interests of the children. Whether you seek to change the agreement or you are on the receiving end of proposed changes, we can help you understand what options you have to protect your relationships with your kids.

If your child was abducted or taken away by another guardian without your consent or approval, contact us right away. These situations require immediate action. We're no stranger to these unfortunate occurrences. Our lawyers will do our utmost to restore your child to safety.

Changing Your Parenting Agreement

Changing your agreement is simply a matter of negotiating new terms based upon the changes you wish to make. Once you both agree on new terms, the old terms of your previous agreement will be revoked, or no longer in effect. Note that this principle applies only to terms you wish to change; all other terms of the existing agreement may still be in effect. You could change all or just part of your original agreement.

If one parent is not fully on board, you still have options. In such cases, you may want to work out new agreements through mediation or collaborative law. These processes leave the decision-making in your hands and avoid lengthy courtroom battles that can leave kids feeling torn between their parents. They also involve experts who can ensure that both sides are heard, both parents receive support and all parties have a stake in getting a successful outcome.

We Have Your Back

Westside Family Law also offers dedicated support in contested move-away custody situations, where nothing less than courtroom representation will resolve the issue. No matter what side you fall on, we're dedicated to obtaining results that work for your family.

To discuss changes to your parenting agreement, call us at 604-800-8853 or send us an email with your questions. Our office is in the South Granville neighbourhood of downtown Vancouver.