Parenting plans are agreements crafted by divorcing couples that govern the specifics of child-rearing post-separation.
Creating a parenting plan that clearly defines custody details and the roles each parent should play is important. This plan plays a key role in setting expectations and maintaining a stable environment for your children during this change.
Creating your plan
A parenting plan is a valuable tool for navigating custody arrangements and childcare schedules. Developing one can help you address important aspects of your children’s care and upbringing. Your plan can include calendars, communication guidelines and procedures for extracurricular activities. While creating a parenting plan is optional, having one in place helps prevent misunderstandings and provides a clear framework for both parents to follow.
Understanding parenting time
Including a section dedicated to your parenting time schedule in your parenting plan is important. You should specify when and how the children will transition between households. In Minnesota, the noncustodial parent has the right to at least 25% of the parenting time. The amount of court-ordered parenting time can vary based on several factors, including your relationships with your children, each parent’s caregiving abilities and the children’s community ties.
Alterations to parenting plans are possible. Life brings change, and with it, your plan sometimes needs adjustment. If both parents agree to an alteration, the process is straightforward. However, court intervention might be necessary to ensure any changes serve your family’s best interests if there are disagreements over parenting time or overall custody arrangements.
The court enforces parenting time orders, and both parents must adhere to them. If you plan to move out of state with your children, you might need the consent of your former spouse or a court order.
In addition, withholding court-ordered visitation can lead to legal consequences unless it is a matter of immediate danger to the children. In such cases, protecting your children takes precedence, and the court can place conditions or limitations on visits. Grandparents also have the right to request visitation, especially if they have played a significant role in the children’s lives.
The best interests of your children always take priority during major life transitions, including divorce. A well-crafted parenting plan provides your family with clarity and support throughout the process.