Though a court order ends your marriage and makes your divorce official, it won’t end your relationship with your ex-spouse if you have kids. As part of your Montgomery County divorce, we will negotiate a parenting plan for you and your spouse that will set the standards for communications and schedules. The parenting plan sets a schedule for when your kids will be with whom and who is responsible for doing what to make it happen. Problems are common, whether that’s because, as a practical matter, the plan doesn’t work or one parent is intentionally trying to sabotage it.
A parenting plan usually is negotiated between the parties as part of the divorce settlement. A judge could decide the plan and make it part of the divorce order if a case goes to trial. It spells out the schedule for when children will be with each parent, transportation issues, vacation and holiday schedules, and what to do if problems arise. If difficulties come up and parents can’t find a solution, the judge decides the resolution.
Happy Holidays or Holidays from Hell?
Holidays can be incredibly stressful when parenting plans go sideways for a divorced family. Holidays are times when not only does a parent spend time with their kids, but extended families often get together. If the other parent is not living up to their end of the bargain by not allowing the children to be there or being late when delivering them, feelings can get frayed.
The Only Constant is Change
Another ongoing problem can be constant or unexpected changes. Both sides should comply with the plan in good faith. It’s a problem if one parent isn’t organized enough to follow the plan or just doesn’t care if the other parent is inconvenienced. Emergencies and unexpected problems can happen, but disruptions should be the exception, not the rule.
Parenting Plan Issues are Just the Beginning
Problems following the parenting plan can be a symptom of a bigger issue – a lack of respect. Your ex-spouse may be consistently late in picking up your kids or bringing them back and couldn’t care less about the impact on you. Making issues out of a parenting plan, along with alienating your children from you and disputing child support, could all be part of an overall strategy to make you miserable.
We Need to Resolve the Issue or Take It to Court
If a solution isn’t negotiated, we may need to go to court. We’ll tell your side of the story with evidence. You must document everything as best you can. That means taking notes, keeping copies of emails or texts, taking photos, and making videos.
Get the Help You Need From a Lawyer You Can Trust
Call Karen Ann Ulmer, PC, if you need help with your parenting plan, whether that’s questions that need answers or legal representation. Call our office at (215) 608-1867 to schedule an online consultation. We can speak via teleconference, over the phone, or meet in our Langhorne or Doylestown office.