By Jorie Zajicek and Ryan C. Davis
What Constitutes a Substantial and Material Change in Circumstances?
Prior to any modifications or changes to a permanent parenting plan in Tennessee, there must first be a substantial and material change in circumstances. This determination will depend on the specific facts of your case.
A substantial and material change in circumstances does not require a substantial risk of harm to the child, but the change must alter the conditions of the child’s life in a way that a modification is in the best interest of the child or children. The following are examples of situations that may constitute a substantial and material change in circumstances justifying a modification of the parenting plan:
- Remarriage of a party
- One parent attempting to impair or interfere with the child’s relationship with the other parent
- Changes in the home surroundings
- Mistreatment of a child by a parent or a stepparent
- A parent’s drug or alcohol abuse
- A parent’s criminal convictio
- A parent’s failure to comply with a CPS family service plan;
- Taking a child out of state or denying possession
- A parent’s relocation
- A child’s desire
- Changes relating to the child’s age
- Changes in a parent’s living or working conditions
- Failure to adhere to the parenting plan
This list, however, is not exhaustive and determining whether there has been a substantial and material change in circumstances depends on the specific facts of your case. Modifying an existing parenting plan or custody agreement can be complicated and time consuming. It is best to hire an experienced family law attorney who can help guide you through these difficult times. Ryan C. Davis Law is here to help you prepare a plan tailored to your goals. Reach out to us at 615-649-0110 to discuss the specific circumstances of your case and learn what options may be available to you.