Divorcing parents often worry about not being able to spend as much time with their children as they used to prior to the divorce. However, parents should always prioritize their child’s needs and making sure that they are safe, happy, and healthy.
Creating a parenting plan that focuses on your child’s education, mental and physical health, and living environment is an essential part of the divorce process. A parenting plan in Indiana should address both physical and legal custody.
- Physical custody: Addresses child’s living arrangements and visitations.
- Legal custody: Addresses who is responsible for making major decisions relating to the child.
As you create your parenting plan, you may consider the following:
- Living arrangements of each parent.
- Ability and willingness of each parent to care for the child.
- Where each parent lives and how far apart they are from each other.
- Parental responsibilities during the marriage (e.g., which parent was responsible for day-to-day care).
- Scheduling (holidays, vacations, school breaks, etc.).
- Transportation to and from parents’ homes.
- Decision making regarding child’s education, religion, health, etc. (parents may share in this responsibility).
- How childcare expenses will be shared between parents.
It can be difficult for parents to agree on the terms of their parenting plan, even if their marriage ended on good terms. In such cases, it may be better for each parent to present their case to a judge, who can make the decision for them. Once the judge has decided on child custody/child support, the decision will become an order that both parents must follow. A family law attorney in your area can make sure the judge hears your arguments and makes the best decision for your child.