Parenting plans and why you should stick to yours

Hire an attorney – check.  File for divorce – check.  Gather mounds of paperwork – check.  Children – check, maybe?

Children and Divorcing parents spell heartache and overturned apple carts for most families.  Let’s look at how your divorce is impacting your children.

When you are divorcing and have children, there is never an easy answer as to the question “what best benefits the children”.  Obviously, what BEST benefits the child(ren) is having both parents play an active and engaged role in their life.   How do you make a significant transition such as divorce as seamless as possible for children?  How do you maintain an active role in your child(ren)’s life when you are no longer in the home with them?  How do you stay up-to-date on their day-by-day activities?  How do you stay engaged with their education?  This blog will provide you with some helpful tips to consider and remember during and after your divorce.

In times past, it seemed that mothers were the preferred parent and dad’s got the short end of the proverbial stick when it came to visitation with children.  Time has changed this mindset and Judges in the State of Georgia now take core aspects of parenting in consideration when determining custody of children during divorce proceedings.

In January 2008, the State of Georgia requires all divorcing parents to work together and develop a parenting plan.  A parenting plan is essentially a road map to maintaining a healthy parent-child relationship.  The parenting plan addresses custody, visitation, which parent makes major decision, education, insurance, transportation, access to the child(rens) school and medical records, contact with the child(ren), military service and more.  When preparing a parenting plan, it is important that you have an experienced attorney on your side to avoid redundancy and confusion.

Why is it important to stick to your parenting plan?  The most important reason to adhere to your parenting plan is to maintain a healthy and strong relationship with your child(ren).  Should a custody modification be filed in the future, the Judge will take in to great consideration how each parent remained faithful to the parenting plan originally set by the Judge.  If you have not exercised your parenting time, it could negatively impact your case.  On the other side of the coin, if the custodial parent has withheld parenting time, it leaves the door open for the Judge to rethink the initial plan and which parent is sincerely concerned about maintaining a healthy relationship with both parents.

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