Parenting plans are the court order that provides parents with a road map as to how they will share their children. The objective of a parenting plan is to provide a plan for the child or children’s physical care from the entry of the order until the child reaches age 18.
During litigation, the court relies on the issuance of temporary parenting plans until a final parenting plan can be entered. Temporary parenting plans may change over the course of the case based on the facts and circumstances when the orders are entered. The goal of a temporary parenting plan is to cause the least disruption to a child’s emotional stability while the action is pending. The goal of the court will be to encourage each parent to continue to maintain a relationship with the children consistent with the children’s needs.
A court can limit or restrict a parent’s access to their children for a variety of reasons. If a parent has engaged in domestic violence or abused a child, the court is required to place some limitations in a parenting plan.
Ultimately, a final parenting plan is entered by agreement of the parties or through a determination by the trial court. Parties may reach an agreement on their own or with the assistance of a mediator.
Prior to entry of a final parenting plan, most Counties require that the parties enroll in and complete a mandatory parenting seminar.