When many couples divorce, they make it all about themselves. They focus on what they want, which may involve haggling over assets, blaming each other and seeking revenge. This conflict does nothing to benefit the children.
While ending a marriage is no doubt difficult for the spouses involved, children have feelings, too. Many are upset over their family’s impending split and are scared about what will happen next. Their parents often forget this.
To ensure the best interests of the children are kept in mind during a divorce and beyond, Maryland is now requiring a parenting plan for all child custody cases. The divorcing parents will be required to file a written plan with the court. This plan will outline how each parent will care for their children and make decisions for them regarding education, medical care and religion.
The goal is to make the divorce less difficult and hopefully make the transition easier for children.
Another reason for the law is to ensure that the best interests of the children are kept in mind. Parenting plans are recommended by child health experts. Many other states require a parenting plan and it has allowed parents to co-parent better.
While parents can create a parenting plan on their own, they may need to get a mediator or lawyer involved if they cannot agree or make compromises. They will then submit it to the court, which will decide if the document is in the best interests of the child.
The Maryland Parenting Plan Tool is a template that parents can fill out online. This nine-page document allows parents to check off boxes regarding child custody, parenting time, communication, education and extracurricular activities. The form allows parents to easily fill out a regular parenting schedule, as well as different schedules for holidays, school vacations and other important events. This tool also allows parents to discuss travel, transportation and child care. If there are disputes, the form allows parents to outline how they will be handled. If there are any other important details to include, parents can do so as well.
If both parents agree to the parenting plan, then they will just need to sign it and then it can be submitted to the court. It is recommended that the parents have their respective lawyers review the parenting plan to ensure it is fair and in line with each parent’s expectations and wishes.
A parenting plan is a good idea in every child custody case. It outlines what the parents will do to care for the child so there are no surprises down the road. It also gives the child some stability so they know what to expect when their parents divorce.
The Columbia divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. can help you with child custody issues and help you create an effective parenting plan. We have two offices to serve you. To schedule a free consultation, fill out the online form or call (410) 774-5987.
7310 Ritchie Highway, Suite 910
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
30 Corporate Center
10440 Little Patuxent Parkway,
Columbia, MD 21044