Children are one of life’s best gifts.  Sometimes the parents of a child do not stay together, and then must decide what they each believe is in their child’s best interest.  When the parents are getting along, this can be easy to decide together.  However, when the parents are not getting along or even speaking, these beliefs can change quite quickly.

A parenting plan is a written up, court ordered document.  This plan can include basic, general items like when and where the child will be with each parent.  It can be as specific as which parent has the child on Halloween in even years.  A parenting plan almost always outlines decision making responsibilities andparenting time.  But, a parenting plan can be tailored to the parties and their situations.  It can include specificities that would not normally be thought of, but are unique and important to everyone involved.  That is one beauty of a parenting plan.

When a parenting plan is in place, there many rights and benefits accorded to the parents.  However, when a parenting plan is not in place through the courts, there are little to no rights and little benefits to the parents.  Below is a short explanation of some of these rights.

When a parenting plan is in place, the basic rights of the parent are articulately, clearly, and definitively written down.  The parenting plan states what their rights are, whether that be decision making responsibility on health decisions, or their right to have the child on a specific day and time.

A great benefit to having a parenting plan in place is when the unfortunate circumstance occurs that the other parent does not follow the plan.  If the other parent keeps the child past the time they should, or even days past when they should, the first parent may actually call the police.  The police can then come and see the court orders (the parenting plan), see to whom the child should be with, and then “help” the first parent get the child “back.”

Further, if this unfortunate circumstance does occur, the first parent may ask the court for an emergency hearing.  At the emergency hearing, the parents can explain what happened.  If the other parent is not abiding by the parenting plan, that parent may get into a whole lot of trouble with the court.

However, if there is no parenting plan in place, the parents’ rights are few, if even none.  If there is no parenting plan in place, and there was an oral agreement, or even written agreement outside of the courts, the police and courts cannot help when a parent is supposedly not abiding by the agreement.  Basically stated, the parents each have no outlined rights.  Therefore, it is quite the more difficult to get any immediate help, and it could take quite a while (possibly months) before the court can order any sort of parenting plan.

Therefore, at Peter Loyd Weber & Associates, we always advise parents to have a parenting plan in place.  This gives each parent an ease of mind in case of the possibility (or, more like, probability) that at some point they will not be getting along and the child will be put in the middle.  Parenting plans give parents rights they would not have without the court order and this means it is most likely best for you to at least consider the option.  Please call us today for a free phone consultation on your child custody/parenting time issue at 720-863-7755.

Categories: Custody, Divorce Law