Alman & Alman, LLC Attorneys at Law (301) 330-0010

Alman & Alman, LLC
Attorneys at Law

183 Mill Green Avenue, Suite 100
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
301-330-0010 (phone)
301-869-4877 (fax)
E-mail
Map & Directions

Visa MasterCard

E-News Family Law

Parenting Plans

A parenting plan, parenting arrangement, parenting agreement or access schedule is a voluntary agreement created by a child’s parents that lays out specific terms of child-rearing that the parents will abide by. Such an agreement is incorporated into the divorce decree or legal separation. The parenting plan allocates parenting tasks and divides duties such as financial responsibility, creating a stable, loving environment for the child, caring for the child’s physical and emotional needs and others. A parenting plan may have specific obligations and conditions as agreed upon by the parents. However, most plans include decisions regarding the following:

  • Legal custody
  • Physical custody
  • Education
  • College expenses
  • Health-care
  • Child-care
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Visitation schedule with each parent, including holidays
  • Transportation arrangements
  • Child support payment and payment schedule
  • Alternative dispute resolution (what law would apply if the case of a disagreement or agreement to complete mediation if a dispute arises)

Temporary or Permanent Parenting Plans

Parenting plans are temporary or permanent, it depends on if the agreement has been filed with the court or has been finalized and implemented in the dissolution of marriage. A temporary plan has been filed with the court and is enforceable regarding child custody, visitation, ect, until the plan has been finalized. There may be a time delay between the filing of the temporary order and the final court decree. This is why it is important to file such a plan right away. A temporary parenting plan may be filed by the child’s parents or may be initiated by the court. A permanent parenting plan has been finalized by the court and the agreement has been incorporated into the divorce, dissolution or marriage or modification decree.

Court Mandated Parenting Plans

If the parents cannot agree on a parenting plan, the court may decide to create a plan for them. When creating the parenting plan the court may require each parent to submit his or her own plan for consideration. If the parents (or one parent) need help with this task, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to review the case and make a recommendation to the court. The parents must agree to the parenting plan to have it finalized in the divorce degree. If the court discovers evidence of child abuse, they will not create a parenting plan.

Modification

If there is a change in circumstances, such as the relocation of one parent, a parenting plan may be modified. The parties must make a motion to the court for a modification of their parenting plan and the court must confirm the modification. If a motion for modifying the parenting plan is made to the court, the court will consider the best interests of the child when making their determination. The court will not modify a parenting plan simply because one of the parents has violated the plan. The court will consider a variety of factors when determining the best interests of the child. However, most commonly, a parenting plan will be modified when there is evidence of abuse (physical or emotional), an inability of the parents to cooperate with each other, child endangerment, neglect, a change in a parents’ mental or physical health or a change in circumstances making the modification necessary.

Preparing to Meet with Your Family Law Attorney

To read and print out a copy of the checklist, please follow the link below.

Preparing to Meet with Your Family Law Attorney

You can download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader here.

Copyright © 2008 FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent counsel for advice on any legal matter.

View Archives


Based in Gaithersburg, Maryland, Alman & Alman, LLC, Attorneys at Law serves clients in Aspen Hill, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Clarksburg, Damascus, Darnestown, Frederick, Germantown, Glenmont, Hagerstown, Kentlands, Lakelands, Montgomery Village, North Potomac, Poolesville, Potomac, Rockville, Silver Spring, Wheaton, Urbana, Carroll County, Montgomery County, Frederick County, Prince George's County, and Washington County.