Grappling with the weight of a divorce is hard enough for you, but what about your children? With all the changes, it may become difficult for them to feel safe and secure without a plan for how they will continue to see both parents.
Maryland family court does what it can to ensure parents and their children remain bonded after the divorce. Judges want parents to come to an arrangement on the custody and caregiving of their children unless there is a compelling reason for the judge to step in. A parenting plan is a document that the court requires in every divorce with kids.
What is a parenting plan?
A parenting plan lets the court know that you and your spouse have agreed on how you want to care for your children after the divorce. It sets out legal custody, typically split unless there is a compelling reason for a judge to grant sole legal custody.
What goes into a parenting plan?
At the center of a parenting plan is the method and mode you and your ex will spend time with the children. It is a schedule that gives clear and detailed information about where the children will spend their time and when. A parenting plan should consider holidays, summer breaks, birthdays and any other schedule deviations.
In addition to time, the parenting plan should address agreements regarding education, medical decisions and religious upbringing, if any. All other issues you and the other parent agree upon, such as bedtime routines or screen time, may go into the plan to form the basis for what the judge will consider as whatever is in your children’s best interests.
The more comprehensive your parenting plan, it may prove easier to follow.