– from Anthony S. in Vernon, WI
My wife and I are getting a divorce. We have three children 3, 8, and 13. We are trying to do the divorce without lawyers, but we do not how to fill out a parenting plan. What are the steps required to finish this document?
Family Law Attorney Response:
A parenting plan is a document which identifies the parenting schedule for each child that is a minor (under 18). It also will include responsibilities and duties of each parent. Along with duties and responsibilities of each parent this document will also include prohibition requests when the child(ren) is in the other parent's care.
Anything parents want to include can be included in this document. A parenting plan can be as general or as specific as the parents find necessary.
Typically the more trouble separating parents have communicating, the more detailed the plan. This allows parents to avoid future problems.
Generally the following types of situations and arrangements are discussed and incorporated into the parenting plan.
- Times/days for parenting time (Including Summers, Holidays, Birthdays)
- Driving for pick up and drop off
- Where pick up and drop off will be
- Make up days/time for missed time due to illness
- Doctor/dentist appointments
- School decisions; school notifications
- Daycare, babysitting, right of first refusal
- Payment of expenses
- Prohibitions, such as no alcohol use
- Any special circumstances
- Remedy in the event of disagreement, such as mediation before filing in court
When parents create a parenting plan the goal is to create a plan which meets the child's needs including developmental support, emotional support and social development. This document also facilitates the child's need for a stable transition through the adjustment period.
Below is a link to the form which the state of Wisconsin has developed for parents. It is a step by step walk through of all the basic concepts that need to be covered in a parenting plan.
If you need help or would like an attorney to review your agreement feel free to contact us.
Jeff Hughes, J.D.