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Can I modify an existing parenting plan?

On Behalf of | Nov 14, 2023 | Blog, Child Custody

Statista reported the divorce rate in Tennessee in 2021 was 3.3 per 1,000 people. Part of many divorces is working out child custody through creating a parenting plan.

However, through time, changes may necessitate altering the original plan. In Tennessee, changing a parenting plan after the initial court order can benefit both parents and children.

Significant change

Parents seeking to modify a parenting plan must demonstrate a significant change in circumstances since the original court order. This could include changes in work schedules, relocations or adjustments in the child’s needs. By showcasing the necessity for modification, parents can embark on a journey to provide a more stable and supportive environment for their children.


When contemplating a modification, it is essential to consider the child’s age and developmental stage. Changes should align with the child’s best interests, taking into account their evolving needs and routines. Courts in Tennessee prioritize arrangements that promote stability and a positive environment for the child’s growth.

Parents must also adhere to the legal requirements outlined by the state. Filing a petition for modification with the appropriate court is the formal initiation of the process. The court will then review the proposed changes, ensuring they align with the child’s welfare and meet the legal standards for modification.


Communication plays a pivotal role in this process. Parents should openly discuss proposed changes, demonstrating a collaborative effort to enhance the child’s overall well-being. The court encourages parents to communicate and negotiate modifications outside of formal legal proceedings whenever possible.

Mediation means getting help from someone who does not take sides to help parents agree on changes. This helps parents find a solution they both like and keeps them in charge of choices about their kids. When parents talk openly and respectfully, it often makes it easier to find an answer.

The law wants parents to work together when they need to change their parenting plans. By understanding that families change and thinking about what is best for the child, parents can make a new plan that fits their growing family.