Children are often innocent bystanders in a Georgia divorce. As the case proceeds, the parents are focused on how they can achieve the best possible outcome for themselves. Part of that centers on child custody.
When the custody decision is made, it is imperative to remember what the law says about parenting time and what must be included in the plan. Since both parents have a stake in this, it is vital to remember that the child’s best interests are paramount.
Specific needs for a parenting plan
The judge has discretion in deciding whether to approve a parenting plan, but certain requirements that be met.
In some cases, the parents are on reasonably good terms or can put their differences aside for the good of the child.
In contentious relationships, this can be harder. However, both parties must remember the importance of fostering a close relationship between the other parent and the child.
Parents must also consider the child’s needs at their current age and as they get older. With that, there must be modifications to how the parenting plan is handled.
For example, a toddler will need to bond with both parents from a young age. As they get older, there may be other needs that will warrant a change to the parenting plan. The parents must be prepared and agreeable to this.
It is natural to be concerned about the daily oversight a parent is giving the child. Worries about what happens in an emergency are also common. The parents must realize that when the child is with the other parent, that parent will be making the key decisions on their behalf. The parents must also be given access to all relevant information such as medical records, education, religion and more.
The plan will detail the child’s schedule of spending time with each parent. This includes holidays, birthdays, time off from school and special occasions.
The order will dictate how the child will be exchanged for parenting time and returned to the custodial parent. That can detail who pays for transportation. If supervision is needed for parenting time, the order will reflect that and its scope.
For a comprehensive parenting time agreement, it is useful to have guidance
Disputes inevitably crop up with parenting time. It is wise to have all the details listed in the parenting time order. During the emotional and challenging time of a divorce, it is easy to forget certain goals.
To be fully protected, it is useful to have help from professionals experienced in all areas of family law.