More Divorce Topics
Parenting Plan in Divorce
What is a Parenting Plan?
A Parenting Plan, required under Georgia law, is a legal document that addresses issues and normally anticipated circumstances associated with child custody and visitation. The Parenting Plan, especially with regards to custodial powers, mandates who has final authority on important aspects of raising your children.
The Parenting Plan will become part of your divorce Settlement Agreement, and is legally binding on both parties. If life circumstances change, either party has the right to petiton for a modification once every two years. Failure to comply with the Parenting Plan may bring a contempt action which can result in fines and jail time.
Parenting Plan Outline
Although there is a basic Guideline for a Parenting Plan you and your spouse, working with your respective divorce lawyers, will largely determine the specifics of the Plan. In some situations, the divorce court may get involved to sort our highly problemtic issues.
Key Parts of a Parenting Plan
This area will define both Physical Custody and Legal Custody of any minor child(ren). With both physical and legal custody, these can be set as joint or sole. Physical custody pertains to where the child(ren) will establish primary residence, Legal custody pertains to decisions made about matters such as medical care, schooling, religion, extracurricular activities, etc.
This area will define visitation rights for normal frequent visitation, holidays, school breaks, vacations, and other times to be spent with any minor child(ren). It addresses communication, drop-off and pick-up times.
In situations where there is a past history of domestic violence, substance abuse or other circumstances of potential danger to the child the visitation may be set as only Supervised Visitation.
Divorcing Parent Seminar
In Georgia, all parents entering into divorce proceedings must attend a Divorcing Parents Seminar. The website of the Cherokee County Superior Court Clerk's Office describes the Parenting seminar as follows:
This seminar is court ordered and mandatory for all couples seeking divorce, separate maintenance, paternity (once established), change of custody, visitation, legitimation (once established), and by specific order of the Court in Georgia that have children under 18 years of age.
The seminar is designed to provide information to parents to assist them in dealing with the effects of the divorce on the children. Couples do not have to attend the seminar together. Judges will not grant a divorce final until certification is sent that both parties have attended the seminar.