Some divorce cases are more complex. They could have unique factors affecting how the process goes along. However, some parts of the divorce are standard, especially for cases involving children. Divorcing couples must discuss and agree on matters concerning their child’s welfare, usually documented in a parenting plan.
This document is an elaborate plan developed by the parents to establish how they can meet the child’s needs and remain involved after the divorce. This plan typically contains details regarding the child’s education, health care, social activities and time-sharing arrangements. Still, the court must approve this document, making it a valid plan for reference in case of modifications in the future.
A judge might only consider approving a parenting plan if it prioritizes the child’s best interests, addressing the following essentials:
- Each parent’s responsibilities related to the child’s upbringing and growth
- A schedule dividing the child’s time optimally between parents
- Specific designation of obligations, considering vital factors that might involve costs such as school requirements, health care, social events and other aspects of the child’s life
- Indicated channels and devices utilized for communication with the child and between parents
- Other requirements for compliance with specific policies, such as the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA)
If the parents cannot agree on specific child-related matters, the court could interfere, review the situation and enforce a setup based on the case details.
Considering the child’s needs and wants
The rules for the court to consider the child’s wishes vary from state to state. However, parents could review these factors by settling matters out of court. Parenting issues could significantly influence the child’s life.
If the decision falls on the court, they might rely on facts and present evidence excluding unique preferences based on the child’s lifestyle or personality. Parents might only have control over these decisions by collaborating and making an amicable agreement through mediation or parent facilitation.