St. Louis Parenting Plan Attorney
Parenting Plans and Child Custody
One of the most difficult challenges parents face when going through a divorce is deciding how to continue sharing parental responsibilities and time with their children. Most divorced couples want to maintain an active role in their children's lives, yet they don't want to remain married. Co-parenting allows them to share parental responsibilities while living separately. Children will adjust better to divorce when there is cooperation between their parents and consistency between both households. The key to successful co-parenting is a good parenting plan. An experienced Missouri parenting plan lawyer will be able to help you put the best type of plan that fits your needs.
When filing for divorce in Missouri, if children are involved, it is mandatory for parents to submit a written parenting plan. Depending on which county in Missouri you are filing your divorce in, you may be required to file your parenting plan along with the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Other counties in Missouri allow parties to file proposed parenting plans 30-90 days thereafter. A parenting plan is a formal document which outlines how divorced couples will share responsibilities, time, and decision-making with regard to their children. It is important for divorcing parents to place a high priority on the best interests of their children and a good parenting plan can help achieve this goal. Missouri parenting plan lawyers will help make sure you are on the right track in this regard.
The State of Missouri outlines what should be included in a parenting plan (Missouri Revised Statutes, Section 452.310). The Missouri parenting plan should contain a written schedule for custody and visitations on weekdays, weekends, and holidays. It should also contain details regarding how and when your children will be transferred between your homes. In addition, your parenting plan should include specifics about how you and your ex-spouse will share responsibilities and decision-making rights for your children's education, healthcare, extracurricular activities, child care providers, as well as details about how child-related expenses will be handled. Some counties in Missouri have specific parenting plan forms, which must be used by the parties.
Click for a sample St. Louis County parenting plan form (PDF).
If you and your ex-spouse are on good terms, you can work together to negotiate a parenting plan yourselves. However, custody and visitation issues can be very complicated so it is recommended that you consult with a Missouri family law attorney that has experience in handling parenting plan cases. This is particularly important if there is conflict or disagreement between you and your ex-spouse regarding the care of your children.
Divorce can create a feeling of insecurity for children. Seeing their parents continue to work together amicably after a divorce will help children adjust to all of the changes. A parenting plan will also help to maintain consistency between households, which children need.
To make sure you have addressed all appropriate custody issues, you should review your parenting plan with an experienced Missouri child custody attorney. Family law attorney, Tonya Page, understands that these issues are difficult for parents and children. Call our office to arrange an initial consultation. Having a qualified Missouri family law attorney on your side can help you to develop a parenting plan that is beneficial to you and has your children's best interest in mind.