For those about to go through a divorce, making a parenting plan is important. This plan encompasses almost every aspect of the divorce that is related to a minor-aged child. For what parents should be considering as they make their parenting plans, read below.
What Goes into a Parenting Plan?
As you make your parenting plan, two major issues will dominate: custody and visitation. These can be complex issues to work through on your own, however. You should decide what type of custody to use. Then, you should make a visitation plan that gives the non-custodial parent access to the child.
Types of Custody
The two main types of custody are legal and physical. Almost all parents retain legal custody of the child regardless of marital status. However, parental rights can be lost in instances of extreme wrongdoing by a parent. Physical or sole custody refers to the parent with primary custody of the child. Sole physical custody means the other parent gets visitation.
However, some parents share custody 50/50. In that case, there is no visitation plan needed. Parents do need to figure out how they will divide their time with their children. Many parents make a plan based on their child's school schedule. Be cognizant of making things easy for the child with the least disruption possible.
Besides sole custody and shared custody, some parents create their own unique takes on custody. If the plan is fair and takes the best interests of the child into account, the judge will likely approve it.
Who Should Make Parenting Plan Decisions?
The answer is obvious. The parents of the child know what is best for their child. In most cases, the judge is okay with that. If you and your spouse can work together to create a plan for the sake of your child, that is probably the best way. If you disagree with certain aspects of the plan, get help. Speak to a lawyer about using a divorce mediator to help you work through tricky custody and visitation support issues.
What About Child Support?
The court includes child support in the parenting plan. However, parents may not get a say in child support matters. The judge will decide on child support based on things like:
- The type of custody chosen (so get that done first).
- The income of both parents.
- The median income in the state of residence.
For more information about parenting plans, speak to a child custody lawyer.