What is a Parenting Plan?
A Parenting Plan is an agreement signed by a Judge that spells out the custody arrangement and guidelines both parents are court ordered to abide by. Once completed and agreed upon, both parents must sign. This document may be developed by both parents in a Mediation setting or in a court conference room with guidance from either parties’ legal counsel.
This document will set the determined custody schedule and arrangements, exchange times and location, and order specific behavior/protocols/courtesy around various co-parenting situations.
Once the custody arrangement court order has been signed by the Judge, it will be accompanied by a signed Parenting Plan and Physical Custody Schedule, to ensure Co-Parenting efforts and reduce any hostility, miscommunication, and manipulation between the parents. Whether your custody complaint has yet to be filed with the courts or you are about to step into Mediation, accurately preparing this document and a Physical Custody schedule is critical.
Parenting Plans and Physical Custody Schedules vary depending on the needs of the child and the current ability for the parents to effectively Co-Parent. Some Parenting Agreements must spell out all the details because one or both parties have a habit of taking advantage of the other. Other Parenting Agreements don’t need to monitor every behavior because the parents can communicate amicably with one another.