If the parties want to do it as an agreed order, they can. If otherwise, the parties are going to have to wait. The issue of decision-making, you have to have it for two years before you can change it – unless there are certain circumstances that will change it. Family law is extremely fact-driven. What happens in one family isn’t going to be the same thing that happens in another.
The other thing that can happen is someone can file a petition to modify the parenting time. That can be filed at any time as long as it’s in the best interest of the children. Where before we used to have residential custodians and we used to fight about who’s residential and all that, no longer does that occur. We only talk about who’s making decisions and how much time they’re going to have and whether it still meets the best interest of the children. If it doesn’t, then you want to change it.
With 30 years of experience in family law, Laura M. Urbik Kern is a certified mediator and family lawyer who concentrates on dissolution, family and juvenile law, child support, and complex domestic relations cases.