Raising children presents a challenge for all parents. When the parents do not live together, the challenges can become even greater because the relationship becomes more complicated. In many cases, parents disagree about the custody of children, and how much time each parent should spend with the children. Decisions about access to children depend on many things, with key among them being the age of the children. If there are no special circumstances, preserving a healthy and ongoing relationship between the parents and children is important after a separation and this is where a parenting plan comes in handy. If you need legal assistance when it comes to parenting plans in Utah, you can speak to Wall Legal Solutions for professional help and advice.
What is a Parenting Plan?
A parenting plan is an agreement between separated parents that highlights how their children will be supported and cared for. It highlights how the children will be raised after a divorce and also encourages the parents to think about how important and binding decisions will be made to prevent future conflicts. It also intends to encourage an open cooperation and dialogue between the parents. In Utah, a parenting plan is required by law under joint custody agreements.
When writing a parenting plan, parents are encouraged to state their agreement regarding legal custody. For instance, they may agree that one parent will have sole custody or that sole custody will be determined by the children’s best interests. If a parent enjoys sole custody, he or she has the right to make major decisions regarding the children, such as education, religious upbringing and health among others. If they have joint legal custody, they will have joint rights to make such important decisions, unless stated otherwise by law.
When choosing a parenting plan, parents should consider the child’s relationship with each one of them. If a parent has never played a central part in a child’s life, or has never had contact with them for long, access should start slowly then increase gradually as the child adjusts to the parent. Access plans, however, do not apply to all situations. They are not applicable in case of the following issue:
- Child neglect or abuse
- Serious emotional or mental disorders
- Domestic violence
- Continuous levels of intense conflict
- Alcohol or drug abuse
What is Included in a Parenting Plan?
A parenting plan can deal with a number of things ranging from healthcare, wellbeing, and development of your child. In this respect, the agreements you make should focus on the best interests of the child or children, rather than just what the parents what or prefer. Outlined below are some of the most important things a good parenting plan should include.
Disagreement resolution methods
A good parenting plan should include the methods of solving disagreements that may arise regarding child custody. However, a parent who uses such an agreement in bad faith may be required to pay penalties to the other parent by law.
Where the child will sleep on particular days
A parenting plan in Utah should also outline where the child will sleep on particular days, like birthdays or holidays.
How important decisions about the child will be made
The pan should also outline whether one parent, both of them or the other will make important decisions such as education, religious upbringing, and healthcare. A good parenting plan should not prevent one parent from making day-to-day decisions about the child while the child is living with the other parent.
Family Law Attorney in Utah
For professional legal help and guidance on family law and divorce, contact Wall Legal Solutions today. Our combined 190 years of experience in writing parenting plans and handling other elements of family law make our family-owned firm among the most experienced in Utah. Call us today at 801-803-6988 for a free consultation.