If you have children, divorce becomes much more complicated. You will need to create a parenting plan that determines how both of you will share parental responsibilities. This is a court order that you can have enforced in the event that you or the other parent is not complying with the requirements.
How Parenting Plans Work
The parenting plan should detail where the child will primarily live. While the child might live in one home during the summer or on the weekends, your child will have one official home.
Important Factors to Consider
Think about the types of decisions that you will need to make in regards with your children together as parents. For example, do you need to decide where your child will go to daycare or how your child will be cared for in general? The parenting plan is a time when both parents can come to a reasonable agreement that can then be enforced in court.
Drafting the Plan
When drafting out the parenting plan, make sure that you use the most simplistic language possible. The more complicated the language, the more likely that one aspect of the parenting plan will be misinterpreted. Also, using short sentences helps reduce ambiguity in the parenting plan.
Reaching an Agreement
Reaching an agreement regarding the parenting plan is often in your best interest because you will have more room to negotiate with your ex. If you are not able to negotiate, the court will sometimes decide the terms of the parenting plan.
Modifying the Plan
Fortunately, the parenting plans are not set in stone and it is possible to modify them. While the process can vary from state to state, it normally requires that you file a petition to the court. The petition identifies the specific part of the parenting plan that will then be changed. Then, the court sends a summons that notifies the other parent about the change and the parent will have the right to attend court.
Enforcing Court Orders
Usually, there are forms that you can fill out in the event that your ex is in violation of the parenting plan. Courts will usually take one of several actions to correct the violation in the parental plans. For example, if you were supposed to see your child on the weekend, but your ex-spouse took your child out of town, the courts might grant you extra days to make up for the days that you lost. More egregious violations could lead to fines or to a change in the custody agreement.
For more information, speak with a family law attorney like Bergermann Law Firm.