Determining how children will be raised is never an easy issue, especially during a divorce or paternity action where parents are very often already at odds with one another. Historically, one parent has been named as Primary Residential Parent and the other as Secondary Residential Parent. More recently, legislation has changed the statutory requirements and the language used to describe parenting of children.

Under the current statute, neither parent is primary or secondary, and nearly all references to custody and visitation have been eliminated. Instead, all parents of minor children are required to have a Parenting Plan that describes each parent’s time-sharing and decision-making authority, while also describing the distribution of parenting responsibilities faced by all parents who are not living together.

Emily Smoak and Smoak Law, P.C. takes the time to help families with Parenting Plans by carefully assessing the needs of the children with our clients and effectively negotiating or litigating for a plan that addresses the best interests of the children and our client. Contact our office today to set up a meeting to discuss your Parenting Plan needs with an experienced family law attorney.

Focusing on Every Aspect of Your Children’s
Needs When Drafting A Comprehensive Parenting Plan

A Parenting Plan is meant to be thorough not only about the rights and responsibilities of the parents when it comes to caring for their children but also every issue related to the children’s upbringing and care.

Smoak Law P.C.  can help you assess how your parenting choices evolved over the course of your marriage or non-marital relationship, and what should be carried over once the marriage is dissolved or relationship ended. We will also help you incorporate useful ideas you may pick up from the parenting class that all parents of minor children are required to complete before a divorce or paternity action will be finalized by the courts.

Some of the issues we will help you consider and negotiate when drafting a Parenting Plan that will be accepted by the courts are:

  • Child care
  • Educational decisions and school choice
  • Transportation and exchange of children
  • Communication between parents and parent to child
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Time sharing, including day to day and holidays

We will help you determine who will be responsible for the cost, decision-making authority, and overall structure when addressing each of these critical factors. We believe in urging parents to work together to reach decisions that are in the best interest of the children so that their Parenting Plan will be accepted by the court and conflict can be avoided later on. In many situations, a collaborative law approach can be used to facilitate this process and preserve your relationship with each other in the future as well as your relationship with your children.

Parenting Plans are meant to be meticulous and cover a child’s needs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No matter the time-sharing plan, we can help you navigate through the issues to reach conditions and compromises that are comprehensive and resolve every time-sharing situation. We will take into account the needs and desires of the children and balance them with the lifestyles of each parent.