Rochester Parenting Plan Attorney
If you are a divorced or separated parent in the Rochester area, you may be wondering how you can create a parenting plan that is best for your children. A parenting plan lays out the expectations and rules for parents who share custody of their children. It can help prevent disagreements and conflict between parents, ensuring that the children’s needs are always considered first. Many parents going through divorce or separation find that creating a parenting plan is an essential part of their process, among other key decisions such as child support. If you are considering a parenting plan, or if you have already started the process but need legal assistance, a Rochester parenting plan lawyer can help.
Rochester Legal Child Custody Representation That Works
At Trotto Law Firm, our Rochester child custody lawyers understand the challenges and complexities of creating a parenting plan. We have helped many parents in the Rochester area create parenting plans that work for their families. We will take the time necessary to master the context of your needs and work with you to create a parenting plan that is in the best interests of your children. A divorce or separation can be a difficult time for everyone involved, but our goal has always been to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible for you and your family. Connect with a Rochester child custody attorney from our family law firm today to learn more about how we can create parenting plans, among other family law services.
The Importance of a Parenting Plan in Rochester
A parenting plan is a constructive, legally binding document that outlines how a child will be raised by their parents. It offers benefits to both the child and the parents, including:
- Ensuring that both parents are involved in the child’s life: A parenting plan ensures that both parents have a say in how the child is raised, even if they don’t live together. It can ensure that both parents can be present for important milestones in the child’s life, such as birthdays and holidays.
- Providing stability for the child: A parenting plan can help provide stability for a child, especially if their parents live in different households. It can help the child feel secure knowing that there is a set schedule for when they will see each parent. Having a set schedule rather than bouncing back and forth between households can reassure the child that both of their parents love them.
- Facilitating communication between the parents: A parenting plan can help facilitate dialogue, even if the parents don’t live together. It can help establish a clear line of communication so that the parents can discuss the child’s needs and make decisions when important issues arise. For example, if one parent wants to enroll the child in a new extracurricular activity, the other parent can be consulted before a decision is made.
What Elements Should be Included in a Parenting Plan?
Many provisions can be included in a parenting plan, but some of the most important provisions to consider include:
- Physical custody: Physical custody refers to the place where the child will reside. In some cases, the child may live primarily with one parent and visit the other parent on weekends or during the summer. In other cases, the child may have equal time with both parents and spend alternating weeks with each one. The schedule that is ultimately decided upon should be based on what is in the child’s best interests.
- Legal custody: Legal custody refers to the parent’s authority to make important decisions about raising the child. These decisions can involve matters such as education, healthcare, and extracurricular activities. In some cases, both parents may share legal custody and make decisions together. In other cases, one parent may have sole legal custody. The arrangement that is ultimately decided upon is tailored to what works best for the child and their parents.
- Parenting time: Parenting time refers to when the child will spend time with each parent on specific days and times. A parenting time schedule should be created based on the child’s age, needs, and the parents’ schedules. For example, a parenting schedule for a newborn may be very different from a parenting time schedule for a teenager who is heavily involved in extracurricular activities.
- Communication: The communication provision in a parenting plan establishes how the parents will communicate with each other about the child. This provision can include how the parents will communicate with each other on a day-to-day basis and how they will communicate about important decisions that need to be made. The communication provision should be tailored to what works best for the child and their parents.
- Holiday and vacation time: Because both parents typically want to spend the holidays and vacations with the child, it is important to have a holiday and vacation provision in the parenting plan. This provision can include which holidays each parent will have the child and how vacation time will be divided between the parents. For example, an arrangement for Christmas may be that the child spends Christmas Eve with one parent and Christmas Day with the other parent. Then, the next year, the arrangement may be reversed so that the child spends Christmas Eve with the other parent.
- Exchanges: The exchange provision in a parenting plan establishes how and when the child will be exchanged between the two households. This provision can include where the exchange will take place and what time the exchange will occur. It is important to have a smooth and easy exchange process to make sure that the child is not put in any uncomfortable situations.
- Decision-making: Making decisions when married is very different than making decisions when divorced. A parenting plan can detail how both parents will adapt to making decisions for the child when they are no longer married. For example, the plan might specify that both parents must consult each other before making any major decisions about the child. Or, the plan might give one parent the final say on certain decisions while giving the other parent the final say on other decisions.
- Conflict resolution: It is important to have a conflict resolution provision in the parenting plan in case the parents cannot agree on their own. This provision can include mediation or arbitration. Mediation is when the parents meet with a neutral third party to try to come to an agreement. Arbitration is when the parents present their case to an arbitrator, who then makes a decision that is binding on both parents.
- Relocation: If either parent plans to move a certain distance away, it is important to have a relocation provision in the parenting plan. This provision can include how the parenting time schedule will be affected by the move and how the parents will communicate with each other about the move.
- Review and modification: The review and modification provision establishes how and when the parenting plan can be reviewed and modified. This provision is important because, as the child gets older, their needs will change. The parenting plan might need to be modified to reflect those changes to ensure the child continues to have a stable and healthy upbringing.
This lengthy list is not exhaustive, but it does provide a good overview of the types of provisions that can be included in a parenting plan. It is important to tailor the provisions of the parenting plan to what works best for the child and their parents. An experienced Rochester parenting plan lawyer can help you create a parenting plan that will offer comprehensive protection for your child as they navigate life after divorce.
Considerations When Creating a Parenting Plan
When you are creating a parenting plan, it is important to keep the following considerations in mind:
- The child’s age: The provisions of the parenting plan should be tailored to the child’s age. For example, a younger child might need more stability and routine than an older child.
- The child’s needs: Each child is unique and has their own individual needs. It is important to take those needs into consideration when creating a parenting plan. For example, if the child has a medical condition, the parenting plan should detail how that condition will be managed between the two households.
- The child’s relationship with each parent: The child’s relationship with each parent should be taken into consideration when creating the parenting plan. For example, if the child has a closer relationship with one parent, the parenting plan should detail how the other parent will be involved in the child’s life to make sure the child still has a strong relationship with that parent.
- The parents’ schedules: Keep each parent’s work schedule and other commitments in mind when creating the parenting plan. It should detail how the parenting time schedule will work around the parents’ schedules.
- The distance between the two households: The distance between the two households can have a major impact on the parenting plan. If the two households are close together, the parenting plan can be less detailed because the parents will have more opportunities to communicate with each other and make decisions on their own. However, if the two households are far apart, the parenting plan will need to be more detailed to ensure the child still has a close relationship with both parents.
The best way to ensure your parenting plan is comprehensive is to take your own internal list of must-haves to an experienced Rochester parenting plan lawyer. They will be able to help you understand all the different types of provisions that can be included in a parenting plan and how to tailor those provisions to what works best for you and your child.
How to Discuss a Parenting Plan With Your Child
The divorce process can be difficult for a child to understand. They might not know why their parents are getting divorced or why they have to live in two different homes. It is critical to talk to your child about the divorce and what it means for their life. This can be a difficult conversation, but it is important to have nonetheless.
When you are discussing the divorce with your child, you should also take the opportunity to introduce them to the concept of a parenting plan. Explain to them what a parenting plan is and how it will impact their life. It is important to ensure your child knows they will still have a strong relationship with both parents, even though they are living in two different homes.
Some key points to hit when discussing a parenting plan with your child include:
- Both parents will still be involved in your life.
- You will have a set schedule of when you will be with each parent.
- Both parents will still make decisions about your life.
- You can still see your friends and participate in activities even though you have a parenting plan.
Making sure your child understands the concept of a parenting plan is important. If they do not understand the parenting plan, it can make the divorce process more difficult for them. An experienced Rochester parenting plan lawyer can help you navigate this conversation and make sure your child is prepared for the change in their life.
What Happens If Parents Can’t Agree on a Parenting Plan?
If the parents are unable to agree on a parenting plan, they can either go to mediation, participate in collaborative law, or have a judge make the decision for them.
Mediation is a process wherein the parents meet with a neutral third party to agree on a parenting plan. The mediator will help the parents communicate with each other and try to devise a compromise that works for both of them. If the parents can come to an agreement in mediation, they will submit the parenting plan to the court for approval.
If the parents cannot agree in mediation, they will have to go to court and have a judge make the decision for them. The judge will look at the best interests of the child and make a decision. The judge can also consider the parents’ wishes when deciding to assess what will create and preserve the healthiest family dynamic moving forward.
FAQs About Rochester, NY Parenting Plan Law
Can a Lawyer Draw Up a Parenting Plan?
Yes. A lawyer can help you create a parenting plan that is tailored to your family’s specific needs. These professionals are highly trained to assess different family dynamics and help generate a plan that balances the responsibilities of both parents while still allowing them to maintain a close relationship with the child.
What Happens If I Don’t Follow the Parenting Plan?
If you do not follow the parenting plan, you may be held in contempt of court depending on the severity of the infraction. Additionally, the other parent may file a motion to modify the parenting plan if they feel your inability to follow the previously agreed upon rules is negatively impacting the child’s best interests. In severe cases, non-compliance with a parenting plan can result in a loss of custodial rights or jail time. Lighter penalties may include make-up time with the child or additional financial responsibilities. It is important to make sure you understand the terms of the parenting plan and follow them accordingly.
How Do I File a Motion for Parenting Time?
To file a motion for parenting time, you will need to fill out the necessary paperwork and submit it to your local court. Once the paperwork is filed, the court will set a first appeared date. You will need to physically attend the court appearance and present your case to the judge. The judge will then make a decision on the motion. If you are not sure how to file a motion for parenting time, you should speak to an experienced Rochester parenting lawyer who can help you through the process.
Can I Take My Child Out of State If We Have a Parenting Plan?
You may be able to take your child out of state if you have a parenting plan in place, but you will may need to notify the other parent or possibly get permission from the other parent first. If there are any details in the parenting plan that point to restrictions on travel, you will need to follow those as well or work with the other parent for a plan modification. If you are not sure if you can take your child out of state, you should speak to an experienced Rochester parenting lawyer to ensure you are following the rules set forth in your parenting plan.
Contact Trotto Law Firm Today
At Trotto Law Firm, we understand how important it is for you to have a parenting plan that works for your family. We will work with you to create a plan that is tailored to your specific needs and ensures both you and the other parent are able to maintain a close relationship with your child. Contact our experienced Rochester parenting lawyers today to schedule a consultation. We will review your case carefully and help you determine the best course of action moving forward.