What Is a Parenting Plan in a Custody Case?

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When a relationship between spouses breaks down, neither of you wants to cause your child harm. As far as New York state administrates divorce matters, the primary concern of the law is the well-being of the children. Courts, just like parents, believe that absent extreme situations like abuse, it is healthy for the child to have an ongoing, stable relationship with both parents. However, parents are not entitled to specific amounts of time with their children. Deciding how to divide up time and responsibilities between parents is often one of the most discussed issues in divorce negotiations. This is why parenting plans exist, so that the divorcing individuals can talk through who gets the child and when before the divorce is given legal form. This blog will explain what parenting plans are and what factors parents should take into consideration when designing their parenting plan. As you read, keep in mind that Suffolk County child custody lawyer can discuss any specific questions you have about your divorce or child custody case.

Parenting Plans, Defined

Parenting plans are guides, created in concert by both parents, that mainly say when and how long each parent has custody or visitation time with the child. It may also address many other aspects of childcare. If the parents can’t agree on a parenting plan, the court may mandate one. As such, in some jurisdictions, parenting plans are called custody agreements or child allocation.

Even outside of the legal system, parenting plans can be great for times in situations where parents aren’t together but would both like to spend time with their children. While courts can order parenting plans, it’s usually best for the parents to agree on one. Parenting plans even help parents who typically get along to plan and prevent future disagreements.

What Makes a Good Parenting Plan?

Parenting plans are there to foresee and preempt problems that can arise after divorce. Good parenting plans may be similar from one to the other, but they will always be unique. This is because each parenting plan has to take into account the specific needs of the children and unique conditions faced by both parents.
Some matters that are usually addressed within parenting plans include the child’s needs and age, the physical distance between the parents, who the primary caretaker will be, what the work schedule of each parent is like, and what the child’s preferences are.

These are just a few of the important topics divorcing individuals will need to think and talk about to draft a parenting plan. The age of the children will be especially important when dealing with young children, whereas the planning for transportation and time allocation is key when there is a great physical distance between the parents.

By keeping these concerns foremost, as well as negotiating honestly and fairly with each other, divorcing individuals can avoid causing their children discomfort. This is also where having a knowledgeable child custody lawyer like Peter V. Mandi can help. We have extensive experience working with divorcing couples and their children, which we will use to get the best result possible for you and your family.

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