Changing a time sharing plan


Attorney Michelle Barry discusses the steps taken to change a child parenting plan.


Attorney Tom Olsen: Welcome back, everybody. My name is Tom Olsen. The name of the show is Olsen on Law. I'd like to introduce you to attorney Michelle Barry. She specializes in family law including divorce, alimony, child support, and time-sharing. Hey, Michelle, welcome to the show.

Attorney Michelle Barry: Hey, thanks for having me today, Tom.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Hey, Michelle, I received an email from a radio listener and said this, "My wife and I have been divorced for five years. Our children are now in different schools from when we got divorced and the time-sharing plan is not working. How can they update it?" What would you recommend for them, Michelle?

Attorney Michelle Barry: Well, depending on the level of communication between the two ex-spouses, the parenting plan can be easily amended by a joint stipulation. It doesn't require necessarily having to re-open the case and start litigating. Try to go for the easy way first, which is to sit down with the school schedule and figure out-

Usually the youngest child is going to determine the full school schedule for all the different kids, especially if they're in different age groups, because they're hopefully going to follow the national schedule of holidays as well as try to stay consistent between school districts for student holidays and teacher work days. That said, children in the younger age group is usually more likely to be transported by the parents and the middle-schoolers are kept via the school bus and whatnot.

The younger children are going to dictate what the schedule is going to be. Really all the parenting plan is is a default document to have just in case the parents have forgotten who has which child on which day. It's not about trying to follow it to the absolute jot into the letter because things happen, traffic happens, schedules change, special events come up. The whole idea behind the parenting plan is just to have something to fall back on when you realize that you've forgotten who's on first and what's on second.

With children in different schools, the easiest thing to do is stipulate to what the new schedule would be, and then have it ratified by an attorney taking it to court and having a judge enter an order on it. Then you have a new parenting plan, and hopefully you don't have to consult it too much.

Attorney Tom Olsen: That sounds nice and easy, and hopefully most parents could work together to get that done. Hey, Michelle, if people want to reach you at your office, how do they do that?

Attorney Michelle Barry: Best way to do that is to contact me via telephone at 407-622-4529, or they can check out my website at There is a contact form on that website. Also, they can reach me directly via email, Look forward to hearing from you.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Thank you, Michelle. That's attorney Michelle Barry, she specializes in family law right here in the Orlando area. You can call her at 407-622-4529 or her website is