A Guide for Creating a Parenting Plan
In most cases, parents know the needs of their children better than any legal professional. For this reason, judges usually prefer that parents create a custody agreement together that will work for the whole family. Once drafted, this document, called a ‘parenting plan’, is then submitted to the court for final approval.
More About Parenting Plans
A parenting plan will put the best interests of the child(ren) first by laying out practical decisions to ensure they continue to have a stable and healthy environment. It also serves as an excellent reference point as everyone involved knows what is expected.
Issues that can be addressed in the parenting plan include (but are not limited to):
Holidays (e.g. with other family members, how often, when)
Sole Custody vs. Joint Custody Plans:
In both of these plans, parents are afforded the opportunity to have a say on key custody issues. However, as the name suggests, a sole custody plan means that one parent has final decision making authority.
We advise that experienced counsel assist both parents in mediating this process. While parents understand their children’s needs better than anyone else, we have many years of experience in drafting parenting plans and can tell you what issues may arise and what you can expect depending on your unique situation.
“What if We Can’t Agree?”
We understand that sometimes a relationship between parents becomes strained and that the communication required to create a parenting plan can be too difficult. Should this be the case, the court is prepared to provide some amelioration to the process.
The court may hand down a temporary custody arrangement to give parents time to revisit the parenting plan;
A child can be appointed his/her own attorney to ensure their interests are being represented fully;
Experts, such as child psychiatrists and social workers, can provide insight and recommendations to the court;
The court can consider any other additional insight to help establish a custody arrangement.
No matter what your parenting plan or child custody goals may be or whether you are experiencing communication challenges with a former partner, it is vital you have an experienced and knowledgeable representative to achieve the best outcome for everyone.
To speak with our team of experienced attorneys about your possible case, contact us at 1-800-LA FIRMA or click the button below to make an appointment for your free consultation at any of our nine office locations.
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