No other part of a divorce proceeding is as highly charged or as emotionally draining as negotiations regarding custody of, and access with the children. Courts across the country are moving away from the judicial phraseology of "custody agreement" toward a more sensitive approaching by having agreements reflect a "Parenting Plan".
The Parenting Plan requires skillful negotiation involving three attorneys with divergent interests to reach a resolution within the legal guidelines of "best interests" of the children.
Drafting a Parenting Plan is extremely sensitive. Each parent must have input in the day-t0-day loves of the children while coming up with specifics to handle significant matters in their children's lives. These significant matters include:
- The children's education
- General health and welfare of the children
- Extended vacations with either parent
- Extracurricular activities
- Religious education and attendance at religious services
The Parenting Plan also provides for each parent to be entitled to be involved in matters that will affect the children's lives at the present and as they mature. This includes:
- Custody and access - parents time with the children
- Holiday's - National, religious, school breaks, birthdays
- Summer vacations - block time
- Telephone/email access
- Health and welfare
- Medical records and medial treatment
- School records and notices