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For couples that have children together, there are many decisions that must be made in a divorce. These decisions can be made during mediation or collaboration, or a judge can make the final determination during litigation. Mediation and collaborative law allow the couple to retain control over the process and come to an agreement that is best for both of them. During these processes, the couple will have to create a parenting plan, and there are three very important terms to include within it.
Child custody is the issue that most people know to include within their parenting plan, but it is also important to include parental responsibilities within the plan. The parent that spends the majority of time with the child is known as the custodial parent, while the other spouse is the non-custodial parent. The terms for both physical custody and legal custody, which is the parent that can make decisions for the child, should be included in the parenting plan.
It is important to not only determine which spouse will be the custodial parent, but couples should also create a parenting schedule. Parenting schedules can work in a number of ways. Some individuals choose to plan the schedule on a weekly basis, while others may decide on a bi-weekly basis. These are just two options for a parenting plan. When the couple can decide this for themselves, it can work just about any way that suits them best.
If, according to the parenting plan, one parent will spend more time with the child, the other spouse is responsible for paying child support. Child support is paid until the child reaches the age of 18 and is determined using a formula based on the income of each spouse, the number of children, and the time spent with each child. In the event that either of the spouse’s financial situation changes, they can petition the court to modify the order.
It is not realistic to expect a divorced couple to live closely to each other for the rest of their lives. One of the parties may get a job out of state, or may simply want to move somewhere else to begin their new life. Custodial parents are required to get legal permission from their spouse or the court before relocating with the child, but the non-custodial parent does not have to go through this same process. Still, it is important to include provisions in the parenting plan in the event that either spouse wants to relocate after the divorce.
No matter how you create your parenting plan, our knowledgeable Hinsdale family lawyers at the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio can help. We know the terms a judge will accept when submitting your plan to the court and will ensure your parenting plan is fair and does not violate your rights. If you are getting a divorce, call us today at 630-920-8855 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.