As a Colorado Springs Family Law Attorney, I am often asked to review documents for parties before they file them with the court. One of the most frequent documents that I review is the Parenting Plan. Many times, the Parenting Plan is fine enough to meet the parties’ needs, but I also find that the Parenting Plan may need some finishing touches to make it just that much better. In this article, I will discuss three areas to think about adding to or reviewing your Parenting Plan.
- Prohibited Activities: Think about what activities each parent shall be prohibited from doing during their parenting time. One example is that “The parents agree that they will not encourage the children to keep secrets from the other parent.” Another example is that “The parents agree not to use the children as a mode of communication to the other parent about schedules, parenting time or child support.” These are just a couple of examples. I do believe that by adding prohibited activities to a Parenting Plan, it can help let all parties involved know what they should not be doing or how they should not be acting.
- Contact with the Children: As parents, you need to decide how, when and how often you want to communicate with your children when you are not exercising parenting time. Are you going to communicate by telephone, text, email, Skype, or Facetime. What time will you call the children? And what is the protocol if the exercising parent is busy with the children? Also, think about how often you will contact the children when you are not exercising parenting time. Remember, that anything that you are agreeing to do will more than likely apply to the other parent as well.
- Non-Disparagement: A non-disparagement section in a Parenting Plan basically says that each parent will not make will not make disparaging remarks or comments about the other parent in front of the children. Basically, parents should help encourage the other parent’s relationship with the children instead of belittling it.
A Parenting Plan is a complex document and one that will help define what your parenting time looks like for years to come after a divorce or allocation of parenting time case. I believe it is too important of a document to just check the boxes and file it with the court. You should carefully review the document and make sure all of your questions and concerns are addressed. No two Parenting Plans are alike, so make your Parenting Plan one that fits your needs.
If you have questions about your Parenting Plan or would like your reviewed, please contact the experienced Family Law Attorneys at Springs Law Group LLC to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Springs Law Group helps clients through Colorado Springs area including, Briargate, Flying Horse, Monument, Manitou Springs, Norther and Southern Colorado Springs. in El Paso County, Teller County or surrounding areas.