Historically, it was believed that a child should always be primarily with one parent and the other parent, no matter how skilled, would have “visitation.” Current research in the social sciences has discredited this position. It is now the court’s policy that a child should have frequent and continuing contact with fit parents who have the ability to act in the child’s best interests and welfare. A parent’s contact with a child is called “parenting time” and the schedule is now referred to as a “parenting plan” rather than visitation.
A formal parenting plan is required in every divorce, legal separation and paternity judgment involving child custody. Parenting time may be modified at anytime provided it is in the best interests of the child.
Each county has adopted its own set of guidelines which provide an outline for the minimum amount of visitation for the non-custodial parent. However, parents who are intimately involved in their children’s lives should be awarded substantially more parenting time.
There are many varieties of parenting plans available to parents. For parents who are able to cooperate and share custody of the children, a one-week-on, one-week-off schedule is often used. Other parents use what is referred to as a “2/2/3” parenting time schedule which provides equal weekday contact and alternate three-day weekends.
A formal parenting plan is useful to avoid conflict and create certainty regarding the child’s schedule. A detailed parenting plan contains provisions to allocate weekdays, weekends, holidays, school vacations, in-service days and summer time vacation. Additional provisions should be included with regards to transportation, telephone contact and email contact between the parents and child. The amount of detail necessary in the parenting plan is usually dictated by the ability of the parties to agree and cooperate on parenting time issues. The parenting plan should also allow the parties to make arrangements “as agreed” by both parties. Flexibility is important in child parenting arrangements and avoids unnecessary court intervention and conflict. Parenting plans should be tailored to the child’s and parent’s needs and any other special requirements such as work schedules, sports and school activities.
PAUL F. SHERMAN IS AN EXPERIENCED PARENTING TIME ATTORNEY.
Paul F. Sherman has substantial experience in drafting workable parenting time plans. Our offices will work with you to develop a parenting plan that is the best fit for you and your family. We can also assist you in modifying a parenting plan to reflect changes in the needs of your child and changes in circumstances. Modifications of parenting plans are almost always necessary in the case of relocation.
Modifications of parenting plans are also necessary when one parent is suffering from alcohol or drug addiction, mental instability, major depression issues such as bipolar disorder, or other serious issues which impact their ability to act as a fit parent.
CONTACT PAUL F. SHERMAN FOR EXPERT ADVICE ON YOUR PARENTING TIME PLAN.
Paul F. Sherman has extensive experience in dealing with child custody and parenting time issues. He has the skill and expertise necessary to draft and implement parenting plans which address the needs of you and your family.
We know you have questions and we have the answers. If you would like more information about parenting plans and child visitation, contact the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free parenting time consultation.