Choosing a Parenting Plan for Your Child

Choosing a Parenting Plan for Your Child mike the lawyer

How do you choose the best parenting plan for your child?

A parenting plan is central to every Maryland divorce involving children. Whether you agree to a collaborative divorce, negotiate a settlement with your co-parent, or take the dispute to court, you must have a proposal for your child’s custody and parenting time. So, how do you choose the best parenting plan for your child? What must you consider before signing an agreement or heading to court? Keep reading for some tips.

What is a Parenting Plan?

Maryland combines a child custody agreement, allocation of parental responsibilities, and visitation schedules into a single “parenting plan.” This parenting plan form can be written by the parents, drafted by lawyers, or ordered by the court after a trial or hearing. It must be filed with the court whenever one parent asks the court to establish or modify child custody.

A parenting plan is a custody order and instruction manual for how to handle child-related issues. These plans can improve co-parenting and create a collaborative partnership with both parents that reduces conflict and allows each parent to propose solutions to the everyday problems of raising children. The plan’s format makes it easier for the court to understand the family dynamic and the plan, making it easier for parents to enforce the order or request modifications when necessary. 

What is Included in a Parenting Plan?

A parenting plan can be as general or as detailed as you want it to be. Some families prefer more general guidelines, while others benefit from a specific schedule. In either case, though, your parenting plan needs to contain certain elements:

Parental Decision Making

This part of a parenting plan determines which parent is in charge of making decisions about the child’s:

  • Medical care
  • Mental health
  • Education
  • Extracurricular activities

You may share these responsibilities, divide them up, or give one parent the deciding vote.

Physical Custody

The parenting time part of a parenting plan determines where your children will spend most of their time, also called physical custody. When both parents live close to one another, you can decide the best plan for your child. You can customize your parenting schedule as much as you want to ensure it addresses your child’s best interests and both parents’ schedules.

Holiday Visitation Schedule

A parenting plan should also account for holidays and special occasions. Your children need to take vacations and create holiday memories with both parents. Your parenting plan can accommodate this by:

  • Setting out a specific holiday schedule
  • Dividing school breaks between parents
  • Allowing each parent a certain amount of vacation time
  • Allowing each parent to request adjustments for special occasions

The Right Lawyer Can Make All the Difference

Hiring a lawyer should be the first thing you do when encountering any legal matter, not a last resort. Whether you’re thinking about a separation or divorce or have been charged with a crime, been injured in an accident, or your civil rights have been violated, you need to first know your rights. Contact Mike Mastracci today at 614 Edmondson Ave Catonsville, MD 21228 (with satellite offices in Ocean City, Snow Hill, and Salisbury, Maryland), 410-869-3400, and check us out on Facebook.

This entry was posted on Friday, June 7th, 2024 at 9:34 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.