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Tag: Parenting Plans

Parenting Plans – How to Negotiate and How to Draft

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Creating an effective parenting plan in a divorce takes forethought and a solid understanding of family law to know what make up a good plan.  Some preliminary thoughts to consider are:

  • Choosing: Most courts uphold a biological parent’s right to raise their child as he/she sees fit.  This isn’t an unlimited right since there are obviously life choices and lifestyles that could be harmful to a child, which is why #2 is so important.
  • Interests of the Child: The overriding criteria most courts will use when examining a parenting plan are the “best interests of the child.”  Different jurisdictions have their own standards, but there is amazing commonality among most courts:
    • The mental and physical health of the child
    • The mental and physical health of the parents
    • Parents’ ability to adequately address the needs of the child.
    • The thoughts, feelings and reasonable preferences of the child, based on their age and level of maturity.
    • Stability in the home environment
    • Siblings or other children whose custody and circumstances are relevant to the child.
    • The child’s school and adjustment to their community
    • Any history of abuse or domestic violence in the home
    • Any history of drug abuse or alcohol abuse.

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