When married couples are going through the divorce process, deciding how to handle childcare is one of the most important matters that they must settle. It is generally preferable for parents to reach a mutual agreement about how they will share responsibilities.
In Alabama, couples with children who are legally dissolving a marriage will resolve matters pertaining to parental responsibilities in a parenting plan. Here are some important elements to consider when you are structuring a plan or requesting a judicial determination about a plan’s key components.
Parenting plans establish the living situation
Most view a joint physical custody between parents to be the ideal situation, and that is where the parenting plan comes into play. Parenting plans establish a schedule for how much time each parent spends with their children.
Parents should try to work out holiday schedules to avoid uncertainty and confusion. Also, they may need to make special arrangements for time out of schools such as winter and spring breaks.
Establish the visitation schedule
If one parent has sole physical custody of the children, a visitation schedule must be crafted and adhered to. Visitation can be a demanding prospect on parents, as schedules can be in constant flux. However, parents that do not have physical custody do have rights to parenting time, unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as a history of abuse.
Who makes the decisions about care
Parents do not wholly relinquish their ability to make decisions about childcare by consenting to children’s other parent having custody. A parenting plan specifies each parent’s role in decision-making about vital care such as medical treatment or educational needs.
If parents cannot agree on a plan, a judge will rule on matters that are in dispute. In issuing rulings, courts’ primary objective is to promote children’s best interests.