Last month, we looked at child support; this month we will explore parenting time & responsibilities (aka child custody & access). In any parenting plan, parents must make arrangements for how they will spend time with their children, and how the decisions will be made in respect of their children.
Parents may be joint decision-makers for their children, meaning they jointly make such major decisions as: education, religion, health, and extra-curricular activities. Also, joint decision-maker parents have the right to grant or refuse consents where needed, and have the right to receive & respond to notices from third parties. If one parent is the sole decision-maker, they may make the above types of decisions without consulting the other parent. The non-decision-maker parent may make reasonable inquiries.
I always encourage parents to be creative when they create their parenting plans as it relates to scheduling time with their kids. What works for one family, may not work for another family. Generally, you need to make a year-round plan, which would be in place for the majority of the year, and a special occasions plan which would trump the year-round plan during defined holidays.
Next month – find out basic information with respect to spousal support.