Divorces involving children present special challenges for divorce lawyers and clients. For instance, the lawyers and parties must address questions about child custody, child visitation, and child support, among other issues. Have you ever wondered what sorts of documents are used to deal with such questions? Today, let's just talk about one such legal document: parenting plans.
In all Georgia divorces involving children, our judges generally require the parties to utilize parenting plans. Parenting plans are court-approved documents, or forms, which address most of the relevant issues in divorces involving children. For instance, there are provisions in this form, (for the parties to check off), addressing which party gets primary physical custody, along with whether the parties will have joint legal custody, and when child visitation will occur. The parenting plan form requires great specificity as to issues involving child visitation. The goal is to lock in, very clearly, where the children will be, (i.e. with which parent), for each day of the calendar year and how they will get there and get back home. For example, there are common provisions, such as a holiday schedule, (which can also be checked off), in which the parties may elect to alternate visitation on the holidays.
These are just a few examples of the provisions in Georgia parenting plans. It is important for you to carefully go over the parenting plan in your case with your own divorce attorney.
The ultimate goal of requiring the parenting plan is to require the parties in a divorce with children to agree to as many terms as possible, so that there will be fewer disputes and fewer returns to court down the road. I'll bet we all can agree that any document which helps you avoid divorce lawyers and avoid going back to court is a good thing! And if a parenting plan makes things a little bit easier for children of divorce, then it is a good thing indeed!