Establish Or Modify A Custody Plan

Raising a child is challenging enough even when both parents are living under the same roof. But parents who are not married, or those who are living separately, have to work even harder to set up rules and expectations that are acceptable to both parents and favorable for your son or daughter.

All of the decisions that unmarried and divorced parents will make about their child's future will be affected by the custody arrangements you establish in writing. Until your child's eighteenth birthday, it's the responsibility of the parents to settle on a parenting plan and adhere to it.

The Elements Of A Parenting Plan

Because this agreement will affect your life and your child's life for years to come, it's important to get the terms right with the help of an experienced family law attorney like myself - I've been helping couples in the Grand Forks area write parenting plans for more than 20 years.

The more detailed your custody plan, the better. Among other issues, a custody plan can establish rules for:

  • Primary residential responsibility, or physical custody: This determines with which parent your child will live most of the time, and on what schedule.
  • Parenting time, or visitation: Parenting time or visitation allows the parent who does not have primary residential responsibility/physical custody to maintain a relationship with the child.
  • Decision-making responsibility or legal custody: Raising a child is about more than making sure she's dressed and fed. One or both parents must decide where the child lives and attends school; make major decisions about the child's medical care, education, and religion; and make routine day to day decisions about the child's care.
  • Child support: Depending on each parent's income and child-rearing responsibilities, one parent can be required to pay child support to the other parent in order to provide for the child.

How Can I Help You?

If you and your child's parent need legal support to resolve a disagreement, the best place to start is by talking to a lawyer. To schedule an initial consultation, contact Barron Law Firm online or call me at 701-732-0916.