Family Law and Parenting Plans
If a divorce is imminent for you and your spouse and you both share children together, one of the first things your divorce attorney will suggest is making a parenting plan. In one of the best-case scenarios, you and your spouse will create a parenting plan together, agree on the terms that are in the best interest of your children, and have a judge sign off on it. This gives you both the most power when it comes to making decisions for your children. If you are unable to agree on a parenting plan, a court will authorize one for you, which may or may not work out in your favor. Below are some important guidelines and tools that will help you when creating a parenting plan.
What is included in a parenting plan?
Creating this document can seem like a daunting task because of how important it is and what can go in. Some of the most common things to show up in parenting plans are:
- What school you want your child to attend
- The physical and legal custody details
- What kind of visitation schedule the child will have
- Details about their healthcare/medical care
- What the next steps will be if the parents do not agree on issues that come up
These are just a few of the common items that should be in a parenting plan and your divorce attorney will shed more light on what else your state may require.
The child’s other parent will not agree to a parenting plan. What next?
Although this can be frustrating, do not lose hope. A family law judge will be there to help make decisions that you and your ex-spouse cannot reach and they will make decisions that are in the best interest of your children. You can work with your attorney to create a plan that will meet your children’s needs and provide the judge with that plan. If it does serve your child best, the judge may agree to it with little or no changes.
This can be an extremely complicated and difficult time and trying to protect your children through it can feel stressful. Working with a divorce lawyer can ensure you are able to devote your time to protect your children while your attorney takes care of the legal portion. Creating a solid parenting plan can help your children get the care they need throughout this process and make sure their best interests are always at the forefront.