When facing divorce or legal separation, parents must address the custody and visitation arrangements for their children. This is quite complicated, as both parents typically need and want to maintain contact and interaction with their children, but it’s not possible for both parents to continue physically parenting the children on a day-to-day basis. A parenting plan is the legal agreement between the two parents that they have come to in regards to both physical and legal custody as well as visitation, child support, health insurance, schooling, and other common issues.
If you are in need of a parenting plan, McNeely Stephenson has the experience and knowledge to help you find a solution that works out in the best interests of your children, while also protecting your parenting rights. Give us a call at 812-725-8224 for advice today.
Who Needs a Parenting Plan?
Parenting plans are for parents who:
- Have agreed to a divorce and need to plan for the way they will continue to parent their children after divorce.
- Are filing for legal separation and need a plan for the kids.
- Are not married and want to ensure the parenting time and visitation arrangements are protected.
If you are in one of these categories, a parenting plan is an important protection both for you and your children. Contact McNeely Stephenson today to discuss parenting plan arrangements with our experienced legal professionals.
Protecting the Best Interests of Children
When drafting a parenting plan, one of the most important considerations is what is best for the kids. Often it’s best for the kids to continue having contact with both of their parents, while living primarily with one. This means giving primary physical custody to one parent, but ensuring legal custody and visitation is protected. However, in cases involving abuse or neglect, this may not be the best case scenario. McNeely Stephenson can assist parents in digging through their options to find an agreement that will work in the best interests of the children, while also protecting their rights to remain in the picture as parents.
Parts of a Parenting Plan
A parenting plan has many different parts that parents must discuss and agree upon, and McNeely Stephenson is here to assist with these discussions. Some of these parts include:
Custody of the Children
Determining custody is more complicated than you may think. You need to think of the practicalities, like where the child will live, as well as the legalities, including which parents will make important legal and financial decisions for the child.
Most of the time one parent will have primary physical custody, and a visitation schedule will need to be set up to ensure the children have time with the other parent. The parenting plan will need to address this as well as how holidays will be split between the two homes.
Child Support Requirement
Indiana and Kentucky’s child support laws may dictate how much support is required, but it’s actually a very complex algorithm, and enforcing support is challenging. A parenting plan should address this.
Health Insurance and Health Decisions
Who will pay for your child’s insurance, and which parent will make medical decisions when needed? Failing to address these issues in the parenting plan can lead to disagreements in the future.
Transportation for Visitation
If you and the other parent will be living far apart, your parenting plan should address how you will get the child from one house to the other for visitation times.
If you have a college fund in place for your child, the parenting plan will need to address who will continue managing it. If you’re both contributing, you will need to address whether that will continue.
From time to time you will need to share important information about the children with your ex. How will this be handled? What information will you be required to share at all times?
As you can see, parenting plans are more than just a custody arrangement agreement. There are many factors that must be considered, and you will need skilled guidance to ensure you are making the right choices, both for yourself and for your child.
Handling Parenting Plans with Compassion and Sensitivity
Unfortunately, divorce and separation can bring a number of negative emotions, and children keenly feel the stress of these times. When you partner with McNeely Stephenson, you have the benefit of a compassionate attorney who will handle with sensitivity your case and the decisions that need to be made for your future. We treat all of our family law clients with respect and discretion, and you can move forward with making your parenting plan with confidence, knowing we have your best interest and the best interests of your children in mind.
If you need help drafting a parenting plan that will properly protect and plan for your children, contact us online, or call 812-725-8224 today.