A parenting plan is a crucial document in the divorce process in Pennsylvania. If you and your space share children, you will need to not only get a legal custody determination but also the parenting time and physical custody elements of your agreement in a parenting plan.
While a parenting plan can include anything relevant to your family situation, there are some non-negotiable factors that the court will expect you to address.
Who has legal custody?
Legal custody allows parents to make pertinent choices on behalf of their children until they reach 18. This includes decisions regarding medical care, religious affiliation and educational choices. Legal custody allows parents to view their children’s education and medical records and authorize actions on their behalf. Both parents can share legal custody if a judge agrees it is the proper course for the children.
Where will the children live?
Even if you and your spouse share legal custody, you may have to choose one address to dictate where the children go to school. In the parenting plan, you need to provide the court with a schedule of visitation and physical custody so that the judge knows who the children will live with at any given time. The schedule is a centerpiece of any parenting plan and should account for the school year, summer break and all holidays and special events.
You and your spouse may include special parenting agreements in the plan, including bedtime routines, how often children can use screens, etc. As long as your plan addresses what the court requires, you can tailor it to the needs of your children and you.