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What Should Be Included in an Effective Parenting Plan?

A parenting plan must be established whenever a determination of custody is made, such as in a divorce or separation. Parenting plans must be agreed upon by both parents and filed with the court. A judge must approve the plan to make it a legally enforceable document. This means that if a parent repeatedly fails to follow the plan, legal action may be taken. All parenting plans provide outlines and guidance for how the two parents will raise and care for their child. Because children change as they grow and life circumstances of the parents will as well, an effective parenting plan that looks to the future can be challenging to establish.   An effective parenting plan is one that provides enough parenting guidance to establish a normal routine for your child, one that will not need to be adjusted every week or that is too hard to consistently follow. While flexibility can help reduce conflict between the parents, it may also leave the child with a sense of instability so always keep your child's needs in mind. The visitation schedule is a large part of the parenting plan and perhaps one of the most challenging aspects. Generally, the visitation schedule for the child will be detailed to include the time/days each parent will spend with the child and the time and method of the exchange. Special occasions, vacation schedules, and holidays will also be scheduled out. Along side of a solid visitation schedule, an effective parenting plan should include details on how each parent can contact the child, limitations on visitation time, such as whether or not the visitation will be supervised, guidelines on when and how each parent should communicate with each other, and the rights and obligations each parent has toward the child. An effective parenting plan will also account for any safety concerns to protect the child from family violence, if applicable. Finely, the most effective parenting plan for your family will be tailored to meet your specific needs. A parenting plan that is too rigid to follow, no matter how well thought out, will be ineffective at protecting your child's best interests in the long run.   Speak to an experienced Georgia family law attorney if you have concerns about drafting an effective parenting plan that looks out for your child's best interests. A skilled attorney will be able to assess your case and advise you on how to draft your parenting plan so it protects your child's best interests, provides stability, makes your job as a co-parent easier, and fosters a loving and caring environment for your child.   Are you in the greater Roswell area and have questions or concerns about your parenting plan? Attorney Thomas C. Rowsey, P.C. is experienced in family law matters and will work hard to ensure your parenting plan looks out for your child's best interests. Based in historic Roswell, GA, Thomas C. Rowsey Attorneys at Law serves those across the greater Atlanta metropolitan area including Roswell, Alpharetta, Marietta, Milton, Johns Creek, Cumming and Sandy Springs. Contact our office today at (770) 993-5317 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation. Offering expert legal counsel in personal injury, criminal defense and family law, Thomas C. Rowsey Attorneys at Law are here to help.