As the holidays quickly approach and the year is getting ready to come to an end, parties involved in custody and divorce matters involving minor children need to have a solid plan for where and with whom the children will be.
What is a parenting plan in Maryland and how does it work?
A Maryland parenting plan is an agreement between the parents—later approved by the court—that provides details about when the child will be with each parent, and the nature of the relationship between the parties as it relates to their child. For example, where will the child be for holidays? Who will have her for her 16th birthday? What is the late policy for drop off and pick-up?
What are the benefits of a parenting plan?
Having a parenting plan is akin to having a contract with the other party and should be abided by accordingly. If done correctly, a custody parenting plan can be of great benefit in working through the kinks and keeping both parties on a schedule that not only fits their day to day schedules, but also leaves them at ease in knowing how to plan holiday and travel time. A parenting plan alleviates the child’s confusion, and reassures them of their ability to maintain an ongoing relationship with both parents, on a consistent basis.
Maryland Courts find parenting plans that have already been mutually agreed by the parties ideal. As such, these plans can be as detailed or as general as the parties would like. However, including enough detail can assist in alleviating the stress of unanticipated changes between the parties and unforeseen changes with the child.
What are some important considerations in drafting a parenting plan?
A detailed schedule is essential part of a thoroughly drafted parenting plan. The schedule should include information about the day-to-day schedules of the child, as well as where holiday and vacation time will be spent. The schedule must also designate which party has legal custody of the child and whether both parties have access to the child’s school and medical records. Some important factors to flush out in anticipation of drafting a parenting plan include, but are not limited to:
- Financial childcare responsibilities of both parties
- Parties involvement in child’s extracurricular activities
- Special needs of each child involved
- The strengths and weaknesses of each parent
- The child’s relationship with each party and the need of individual time with both of them
- The child’s parental preferences
- Each party’s ability to put their children’s needs above their own
- How both parents will protect your children from personal conflict and disagreements
- How both parties will tell your children the details of your parenting plan
Drafting a Maryland parenting plan that designates custody arrangements in your personal custody matter is important. You need an attorney who will advocate on your behalf and ensure that your parenting plan is designed to meet the needs of your minor child and keep a cordial relationship between you and the other parent. Contact Angel Murphy with The Murphy Law Firm, LLC today to schedule your free criminal consultation at (240) 493-9116 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are active on social media, Like us on Facebook @AMurphyLegal, Follow us on Instagram @AMurphyLegal, and Twitter @AMurphy_LegalTags: Divorce, Parenting Plans, Separation