Divorce is not always easy, but when couples have young children, the situation can be more complicated. As part of the divorce process, couples must create a parenting plan that becomes part of the divorce order. The parenting plan provides details about the issues regarding the children, such as how and when visitation takes place, how the exchange occurs, how holidays and vacations will be spent, and more. The plan also includes the allocation of authority for making decisions regarding the child. It is helpful to get guidance from an experienced Carrollton family law attorney for creating a useful parenting plan.
Why Parenting Plans Are Helpful
A parenting plan is not just a formality that is part of the divorce procedure. A well-written parenting plan will be a useful document for issues regarding the children until they turn 18 years old. Parenting plans will help you and your spouse be better parents and will prevent disputes in the future. A parenting plan is a road map for successful co-parenting after divorce. Once the rules are in place, both parents know what is expected of them and how to handle the various issues regarding the children. The more detailed the parenting plan, the better.
Requirements for a Parenting Plan
Georgia law (O.C.G.A. 19-9-1) provides specific requirements for parenting plans. Parenting plans are required in all divorce proceedings and in some modification hearings, but are not necessary in emergency relief actions. Parenting plans must include:
- Where and when a child will be in each parent’s physical care
- How holidays, vacations, birthdays, and other special days will be spent, including the times of the beginning and end of the events
- Arrangements for transportation for exchange of the child between parents
- Allocation of decision-making authority
- How parents are to resolve disagreements about decision-making
- How and when a non-custodial parent is allowed to contact the child
The parenting plan is detailed to provide both parents with rules for child-rearing following a divorce. Parents will refer to the parenting plan for many issues, as well as for how to resolve disputes if and when they arise.
Help from a Knowledgeable Family Law Attorney
While there are parenting plan templates online, it is best to create and review a parenting plan with help from your attorney. Your parenting plan must be as complete as possible to meet the legal requirements. Although you and your spouse may currently agree on some issues, that may not always be the case. A well-thought-out parenting plan will give you and the other parent answers to problems that could crop up after the divorce.
If you are unable to come to an agreement regarding the parenting plan, the judge will put a plan into place that will be in the best interest of the child. When you are facing a divorce, you can count on the team at Moffitt Law to provide you with the best results. We work to protect your rights and will ensure that you create a parenting plan that makes sense for your family. Contact Moffitt Law, LLC for a consultation to discuss your case.