When parents undergo legal separation, divorce, or annulment, their children must be taken into consideration. They must still be able to get physical, emotional, and mental support even if their parents are separating.
Parents can protect their child’s rights during these challenging times by using a parenting plan. The plan will list down the responsibilities of each parent and how issues can be resolved without affecting their child’s future. However, if you are indeed drafting this document as part of your separation, it is important that you know every aspect of the document and it must protect your rights with your child.
Here at Voelker Kairys & Morris, we are well-equipped and experienced to help you get legal representation, especially as you sort out your child’s future. We will provide you with legal advice to help you make sound decisions for you and your child’s future.
What is the Pennsylvanian Policy on Parenting Plans?
Any couple who plan on separating from one another, they can draft their Parenting Plans without seeking the aid of the court. They can seek the assistance of a family law lawyer (such as us here at Voelker Kairys & Morris) to draft it or use the Custody x Change software.
When writing a parenting plan, it must showcase how each party can still be a part of the child’s life and what responsibilities each parent will have. The plan must also list down the method of how conflicts can be resolved and how provisions can be applied as the child grows. Stipulations must also be listed accordingly in the plan for review.
However, there is an option for parties to utilize Title 23 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to develop their parenting plan. If you do use it in court, you must know what to do in court and what documents you need to submit to the court. When the court receives your documents, they will look into them and approve the plan if they see that all parties will be able to handle it.
How About Child Custody?
Under the parenting plan, both parties must have the guidelines for child custody. In Pennsylvania, there are five different types of custody, which highlights how much involvement parents have in their child’s life.
- Legal custody – one parent has the legal right to decide on every aspect of the child’s life.
- Physical custody – The child is with a particular parent and living with them.
- Shared custody – In this type of custody, both parents have equal rights to be with the child and communicate with them.
- Visitation – The non-custodial parent will be able to visit the child on certain dates, but they would not be allowed to remove the child from the custodial parent.
- Partial custody – The non-custodial parent can have the child in their care from the custodial parent for a short period.
The court will be the one to determine which parent will have custody for the child. They will look at which parent is capable of acting in the benefit of the child and where a child’s best interest is protected. If both parents can agree in sharing custody, the court can decide for joint custody.
When does the court step in?
If parents are unable to agree on a Parenting Plan that works for their situation, the court may step in to assist. During the mediation process, the court will review the plan with the parties and see how an agreement can be reached. If an agreement is still unreachable, the court will be the one to formulate the Parenting Plan.
It is important to take note that the court has the authority to reduce the rights of parents if they see that the parent will be unable to abide by the parenting plan set. The court will always take your child’s future and welfare when establishing a parenting plan.
Let our lawyers at Voelker Kairys & Morris assist you in negotiating an ideal plan for you and your children. We will also help you understand the terminology used in the binding agreement and ensure that it is the best result you can gain.
Talk to Us Today – Free Consultation!
If you need a law firm that can help you with Pennsylvanian family law, ring up our team here at Voelker Kairys & Morris. Our team of talented and experienced Pittsburgh family lawyers can help you get through your legal battle and ensure that you get the right representation and result in court. We will also answer any inquiries you may have and help you get your life back on track.