Even when a divorce is contentious, it’s in the best interests of both parties to work together to create a well-crafted parenting plan. A parenting plan is a map for what the family relationship will look like going forward. Unsurprisingly then, parenting plans are detailed—full of issues pertaining to the physical and legal custody of the child. But the process of creating a plan can also give parents a structured way to work through major parenting questions and resolve disagreements early on, potentially avoiding conflict and family disruption down the line.
In Georgia, parenting plans are required by the courts in all custody cases. They cover specifics relating to the physical custody of the child and the legal custody of the child. To get a sense of the breadth of what’s required, it may help to take a look at a Cobb County parenting plan example or a Fulton County parenting plan example.
Physical custody is, quite simply, a plan for where the child will be on any given day of the year. This includes the basic weekday/weekend schedule, but it also addresses holidays, school breaks, and special days, like the child’s birthday. Some typical custody arrangements in parenting plans include:
When crafting the plan, parents have to consider the age of their child when determining the best routine. Younger kids may have trouble regularly switching homes. Older kids may have more complicated school and extracurricular schedules that need to be factored in. Either way, establishing a routine early often works best for both parents and kids.
Legal custody concerns all of the bigger picture decision-making regarding the child’s life: his or her education, healthcare, activities, and religion. While parents typically share joint legal custody and work together, a parenting plan designates a final decision maker for each category.
Every family is different, so sticking to a set form won’t always work. That’s why it’s important to work with a child custody attorney who understands the importance of a strong parenting plan for the ultimate wellbeing of the family.
At Bivek Brubaker & Prescott, we have experience helping to create plans for all types of families, including:
The child custody attorneys at Bivek Brubaker & Prescott can help you create a Georgia parenting plan that’s best for you and your child. Contact us today by calling (866) 527-2630.