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Can my ex husband change our parenting plan or try to get custody or more visitation just because his situation has changed?

Bothell, WA |

He has moved in with a woman he has been dating for two months. He has not notified me that his residence has changed. I am the custodial parent and he has two and a half hours during the week and Friday from 6 to Sat at 5 with my son. He now sends the girlfriend to pick up my son. He acts like she has the same rights he does because it is his "time." Do I have to let my son go with a complete stranger because it is his time and he sent her? Can he move in with someone, somewhere and not tell me? Most important can the two of them get custody or change visitation?

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Attorney answers 3


Unless the current PP allows for a third party to do the transportation, no you do not have to give your child over to a stranger. He can always file a Petition to modify the PP based upon a substantial change of circumstances, however, based on what you have shared, his sucxess would seem unlikely. Stick to the current PP -- do not deviate at all and if he files a Petition , hire counsel.

Please note that THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE and are for informational purposes only. This response is not intended to create any attorney-client relationship and is only based on the limited facts given. The response might change should additional facts be learned and should not be relied on as legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney who can properly assess the situation, as well as all pertinent facts, prior to taking any action based on the foregoing statements


When the non-primary parent moves for modification of the plan, it has to be based on a substantial change of circumstances in the life of the non-moving party. That is you. Unless you have developed a serious heroin habit, are in prison, or are making truly horrendous lifestyle choices, the likelihood is that the Court will not approve a modification.

Please consider discussing your concerns with your ex about the changes to your child's life based on the new gf. It is possible that you can express your concerns. Courts always care most about the best interests of the child.

Elizabeth Powell

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"Do I have to let my son go with a complete stranger because it is his time and he sent her?" Normally a parent can have someone else pick up the child. "Can he move in with someone, somewhere and not tell me?" The noncustodial parent can normally move without notice. "Most important can the two of them get custody or change visitation?" A major modification is difficult to achieve; the courts prefer to keep the status quo. It’s always best to consult with a good family law attorney to discuss the details before you act. See my AVVO Legal Guides on parenting plans and modifications for more information about the legal issues raised by your inquiry. Please keep in mind that although these Legal Guides are often informative, they are no substitute for legal advice from an attorney you have retained for consultation or representation. There are always exceptions to the general rules. Click on my photo. On my AVVO home page click on "Contributor Level - View Contributions" or scroll down further and click on "Contribution - Legal Guides." Scroll down the list of my 29 Legal Guides and select the topics relevant to your question. If you like my answer and Legal Guides, please make sure you mark them as “helpful” or “best answer”.

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