Many parents who decide to divorce in New York assume they will have to submit to whatever the court decides when it comes to child custody. However, times have changed, and the state of New York now gives most divorcing parents the opportunity to craft their own custody arrangements and have them approved by the court. They do this with a document called a parenting plan.
What Is a Parenting Plan?
A parenting plan must outline all of the foreseeable details and arrangements parents must adhere to following their divorce. Some parenting plans concern sole custody and are mostly up to the custodial parent to craft, but many parenting plans involve joint custody, where both parents collaborate and have legal authority over parenting decisions.
A parenting plan must address:
- Where the children will live and when
- Which parent makes specific parenting decisions
- School attendance and education considerations
- Access to records
- Healthcare considerations
- Child transportation and exchanges
"What If We Can't Agree?"
If the parents cannot agree, the court will issue a temporary order and, in most cases, will appoint a law guardian for the child or children involved. In cases where domestic violence is an issue, the victim will want to file for an order of protection (a restraining order) for both the victim and children which, in all likelihood, will result in perpetrator from having either supervised visitation or no visitation.
However, it's always recommended that, when possible, parents take the opportunity to create their own parenting plan seriously. With the right counsel by their side, these parents can make prudent, reliable decisions that not only foster their own relationship with their children but also safeguard the well-being of their family for years to come.
If you are preparing for a divorce and have concerns about child custody, then we invite you to contact us at Casella & Casella LLP today. With more than 60 years of combined experience in this practice area, our Staten Island divorce lawyers are well-versed in the challenges parents face in this process and how to ensure that every avenue towards a favorable outcome is thoroughly pursued on their behalf.
Don't face this complex process without a proven advocate by your side. Contact us today to request a free case evaluation.