When a couple decides to divorce and they have children in common, it’s important that those children are supported through the transition to a new family structure. A parenting plan can help set expectations about how the parents will make decisions for their children and meet their needs after the divorce.
Parenting plan overview
In Alabama, in order for parents to proceed with joint custody the court requires them to prepare and present a parenting plan. The parenting plan must address relevant matters relating to the care and custody of the child, which includes several items.
It must address the care and education for the child, the medical and dental care for the child, child support, holidays and vacations and other information to support the child’s physical and mental well-being.
It must also designate one parent who has primary authority and responsibility for making decisions about the child’s academics, extra-curricular activities and religion.
In addition to the required parenting plan elements, there are other topics parents may want to include. A parenting schedule that outlines how children will share time between each parent’s home may be helpful to include. Also, parents can add information about the contact the children may have with extended family members, such as aunts, uncles and grandparents.
Parents may also want to address how certain expenses should be handled, like tuition, costs for after-school activities and childcare costs, if applicable.
If parents need assistance to create a parenting plan or guidance about other family law matters, an experienced attorney can help.