Putnam Family Court
If you are in need of a family law attorney for Putnam Family Court or other locations in Westchester county, contact experienced family law attorney Gregory Salant of Harold, Salant, Strassfield & Spielberg. Many parents going through divorce decide to set up a parenting plan to help minimize conflict. Below is an outline of what a parenting plan is.
A parenting agreement or parenting plan is a written statement that ex-spouses sign as a way of establishing the ground rules for raising their child. The agreement may be mandated by the family court, or it may be a more informal document. A parenting agreement helps set clear expectations, which in turn reduces conflict. It works best when the agreement is flexible and is regularly updated taking into account the child’s changing needs over time. It is important to understand what a parenting agreement includes and how to create it.
Establishing custody, living arrangements and visitation
Whether it is a joint custody or deciding which parent would be best for the child to live with, establishing custody, living arrangements and visitation plans are the most important decisions to be made.
Decide on a regular schedule for visitation, participation in the day-to-day care of the child or deciding on what will happen if one parent decides to move.
Creating a plan for holidays and vacations is another important decision. Sometimes, special adjustments can be made to your visitation schedule to accommodate for holidays and vacations.
It is important to think about special circumstances and have a basic idea of how to handle them to avoid conflicts. Special circumstances could be a sick child on visitation day, last-minute invitation to a birthday party, funerals, etc.
Decide and talk through the restrictions and guidelines in the parenting agreement. It includes who the child can be around or setting a guideline for hiring a babysitter.
Planning everyday routines and activities
Plan ahead before committing to the activities the child can participate in. Agreement on expenses and approval of the other parent on what extracurricular activities the child can commit to, are important topics to discuss.
Come up with an agreement on who will attend events. Whether to have parents alternate attending events or both parents attend together.
Decide on how to communicate information that needs to be shared with the co-parent.
When it comes to the child’s everyday routine try to agree on a schedule that you both can follow. Consistency is very important for young children and babies as it helps make things easier. Homework, playtime, sleeping and feeding schedules should remain consistent.
It is important to establish clear rules for communication with the child during the other parent’s visitation time. It is best to come to an agreement that allows the child to stay in contact with both parents regularly, without causing conflicts between the parents. Agreeing on rules regarding the hours of visitation, allowing the child privacy when talking to the other parent, and what information about the parenting plan to share with your child are important.
Child support agreement depends on each parent’s income and the custody arrangement. Usually, the non-custodial parent pays a fixed amount of money to help cover the child’s expenses. Family court can help in case you are not able to come to an agreement about child support.
Discuss financial support for adult children and incorporate the details of your financial support into the parenting plan.
Decide on how everyday expenses will be handled and who will be responsible for the everyday expenses of the child.
Decide on how to handle large expenses associated with the child. This includes medical expenses and fees associated with education.
Making important decisions
Discuss certain lifestyle choices that have been made for the child and come to an agreement that you are both happy with.
Agree on being consistent with your expectations and disciplinary methods such as rules, responsibilities and discipline.
Discuss a plan on schooling, (public, private or home school) and how to deal with parent-teacher conferences. Decide on who will attend school events and how to pay for school and college.
Determine who will attend to the child’s medical needs, selecting and attending doctor’s appointments and the protocol in the case of emergencies.
Decide on how to handle future decisions.
Put parenting agreement in writing
Decide if you need to go to court. Family court can resolve any issue if you are unable to come to an agreement on one or more issues.
Write everything down, including the smallest details to prevent confusion later.
Signing the parenting agreement shows that you are both committing to and adhering to the agreement that you came up with.
Be willing to amend the agreement whenever it seems necessary depending on the child’s needs.
For assistance in Putnam family court or setting up a parenting agreement, contact Gregory Salant for a free consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 914-683-2500.