logo logo

Parenting Plans in Georgia

Parenting Plans in Georgia

770-609-1247 | Parenting Plans | Divorce Attorneys Cumming GeorgiaAre you currently going through a custody battle? If so, then you may be familiar with the Parenting Plan that is required by Georgia Courts. In the cases, where the parents file for custody, parents are required to fill out the parenting plan. Filling out a parenting plan is not so complicated, but it is easy to miss out on major details if you are not careful. This article is written for educational purposes and it will discuss the basics of the parenting plan. Additionally, it will discuss what the parenting plan includes. As always, it is generally advised to consult your local family law attorney if you have questions in regards to your parenting plan.

When is a Parenting Plan Required?

Under Georgia law O.C.G.A. Section 19-9-1 in all child custody cases, each parent is required to prepare a parenting plan, or jointly submit a parenting plan. This statute does not apply to Termination of Parental Rights action. In the state of Georgia, a parenting plan is required for any divorce final hearing or a child custody modification case.

In instances where both parents work together as a team and agree on a plan, a joint plan can be submitted to the Court. Once the Court approves the plan, a court order will be initiated. However, on the other hand, if both parents cannot agree on a plan, each parent will be required to submit a proposed plan to the court. The judge will then have discretion to decide if the plan goes into effect.

If the judge is not in agreement with the proposed parenting plan by each parent, the judge has the discretion to make a new plan. If for some reason, one of the parents fails to submit a parenting plan, then the judge has the discretion to adopt the parenting plan by the other parent if the judge finds that plan meets the “best interest of the child” standard.

When considering a Parenting Plan, the Judge considers the following factors listed below to determine the best interests of the child:

  • The bond and emotional connection existing between the parent and the child.
  • The bond and emotional ties existing between the child and any siblings, if there are any.
  • Amount of love and support each parent can provide to the child, and whether the parent is capable of providing this love, affection, guidance, and support to the child or not.
  • Whether the parent has the resources to assist the child in his or her education and in the upbringing of the child.
  • Whether the parent is well aware and knowledgeable about the child’s needs and interests.
  • Whether each parent has the ability to meet the child’s basic needs for food, clothing, shelter, medical care, etc.
  • Whether the home environment is suitable for meeting child’s basic needs.
  • The duration child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment.
  • Each parent’s support systems and community
  • The mental and physical health of each parent
  • How extensively each parent is involved in child’s life whether its social, educational, and extracurricular activity.
  • Whether there are any special needs in the areas pertaining to child’s heath, physical and emotional, for the child that has to be met.
  • Each parent’s past parental responsibilities
  • The willingness of each parent to encourage the child to have a close relationship with the other parent.
  • Evidence of family violence, criminal history, or substance abuse.

What is included in the Parenting Plan?

In Georgia, all Parenting Plans must include:

  • A time schedules which shows where the child will stay every day of the year. Additionally, the time schedule will show where the child will spend the first and third weekend of each month, whereas the other parent will receive the visitation time. On the other hand, for the special holidays, parents may alternate between even and odd days.
  • Communication provision among the parents where each parent notifies the other parent if there is change in address, change in phone number, or any other relevant change, which may hinder the child’s ability to see the other parent. Additionally, in the State of Georgia, a parent who decides to change the residence will be required to give the other parent thirty (30) days notice of change and provide the complete new address.
  • Transportation arrangements for the child pick-up showing where both the parents will meet to drop the child back and forth from one house to another house.
  • Allocation of decision-making authority to be given to one or both parents.
  • During the time of conflict, ways the parents will resolve the disputes in the matter of child custody.
  • Any limitations to when the parent can contact the child at the time when the custodial parent has the physical custody.
  • Any limitations to a parent’s right to access education, health, extracurricular activity, and religious information about the child
  • If the supervised parenting time is necessary, the details of the supervised time should be stated in the parenting plan.

Furthermore, your parenting plan should recognize several factors:

  • A close and continuing parent-child relationship that shows the child’s best interest.
  • When creating a parenting plan, it is important to remember that child’s needs and demands will grow and change as the child matures within due time.
  • The custodial parent will be responsible for making day-to-day decisions and the custodial parent will make emergency decisions in regards to the child.
  • Both parents will have access to the main important information including child’s records and essential information in reference to the child including, but not limited to, education, health-related matters, health insurance, extracurricular activities, and religious communications

Its not overly complicated to get a parenting plan in place. However, the parenting plan covers a wide area of topics, which must be mentioned in the parenting plan. It is important to understand the purpose of each provision of the parenting plan. When it comes to child and best interest of child, no parent should take a chance. It is important to meet the standard for the betterment of the child.

If you are dealing with a child custody issue right now, and need a parenting plan in place, then call Coleman Legal Group, LLC today. Our attorneys are experienced in dealing with clients with similar issues like you. Our firm can be reached at 770-609-1247.

bottom

Leave a Reply

bottom