A parenting plan is a written agreement that addresses the custody and visitation of a couple's children. The plan is meant to address the issues of time sharing and decision making for the children and enables there to be fewer conflicts between the parents because they know what to expect. The parenting plan is a court order once it has been signed by both parents and the judge and has been filed with the court, and is legally enforceable.
If you and your former partner are creating a parenting plan, there a number of important issues that should be addressed in your agreement, including both physical and legal custody. When determining the physical custody of your children, consider such matters as where your children will spend weekends, holidays, summer vacations, and special occasions, as well as who will be in charge of such activities as extracurriculars and homework. Likewise, legal custody must be addressed carefully and discuss your children's education, childcare arrangement, religion, medical and dental care, and their care in the event of an emergency.
The main focus of your parenting plan should be the wellbeing of your kids and protecting their relationships with both of their parents. Unless there is a history of abuse, your plan should ensure that:
- Both of you have information about the children
- Both of you have access to the children's school and medical records
- Both of you are able to maintain regular communication with the children
- Each of you has the other's contact information and address
Every situation is different, and your parenting plan will depend upon your family's unique circumstances. Family law can be confusing, so it is imperative that you enlist knowledgeable representation while creating your parenting plan. Our attorneys at Claery & Hammond, LLPcan help you understand your rights and options while assisting you in creating a detailed plan that best suits your family. If you would like to learn more about writing a parenting plan, contact our firm at your earliest convenience to discuss your situation!