If you are going through a divorce and have a child, you and your former spouse may need to create a parenting plan. A parenting plan is a written agreement that outlines the terms and conditions regarding the custody and care of your child. It is intended to help you support your child’s well-being and protect their interests.
The parenting plan should address the legal and physical custody arrangements. Legal custody refers to decision-making for the child and physical custody refers to which parent the child will live with, or if you and your former spouse will share these responsibilities.
It should include a regular visitation schedule, which includes holidays, weekends and special occasions and it should clearly explain the child support responsibilities of each parent. Child support provides for the child’s basic needs like housing, food, clothing, education and healthcare.
If the child is in school, your parenting plan should address how education decisions will be made and whether the child will participate in extracurricular activities, like sports. Finally, it is a good idea to include methods you and your former spouse may use for dispute resolution.
As your child’s needs change, it may be necessary to change the parenting plan.
If you and your former spouse agree to the modification, you can submit it in writing to the court for approval. If you disagree, you will need to file a petition for modification with the court that outlines the specific changes you are requesting.
You will need to show the court that there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances since the last parenting plan was completed.