Divorced parents who have shared physical custody of their children are allowed to spend a specific amount of time with their children, whether that means three days every month or three weeks every two months. Parenting plans are often the most effective way to define when a child will stay with each parent, as well as for how long they will be staying there. Creating a parenting plan in Maryland can be particularly important when divorced parents live a long distance from each other.
Start with Visitation Schedules
Any parenting plan in Maryland should include a visitation schedule that explains when the child or children will live with each parent. Visitation schedules should be mindful of things like holidays and vacations, and aim for regular time with each parent to keep things as normal as possible. In long distance parenting plans, one of the more common arrangements is the child living with one parent for the duration of the school year and living with the other parent for summer vacation. You can also include plans for things like video chats and telephone calls in the parenting plan.
Remember Travel Obstacles
When creating a long distance parenting plan in Maryland, you should keep in mind transportation logistics. How will your child get from one house to another? Will one parent travel halfway to the other to pick up the child and drive back? Will one parent fly to the child and fly with them on the plane back? Determine your guidelines for travel in your parenting plan to remove arguments down the road.
Think About Your Child First
While emotions can run high and every divorce is not amicable, you should aim to keep your parenting plan in Maryland centered around what is in the best interest of your child. What factors should you consider?
The preference of your child
How financially prepared each parent is to support the child
The psychological and physical health of each parent and the child
The ability of the parents to communicate regularly
The work demands of each parent (traveling frequently, etc.)
Where the child goes to school
Whether or not there are other siblings and extended family members living in one house
An experienced attorney can work with you to create a parenting plan that keeps your child at the center and that works for both you and the other parent involved.
Create a Parenting Plan in Maryland with Lebovitz Law
If you are a divorced parent with shared custody and looking to create a parenting plan that works for you and the other parent, Lebovitz Law can help. To learn more about how we can assist you, please contact us today.