Parents in Greenville, SC custody cases must propose a parenting plan at all temporary hearings. Judges consider these plans in rendering their decisions, so your plan should be comprehensive and in the child’s best interests. A Greenville, SC child custody attorney can help improve your chances of getting the custody plan you want.
South Carolina’s Children’s Code requires parents at temporary custody hearings to submit parenting plans to court. In the best case scenario, the two parents will work together to draft a mutually agreeable plan. If this joint proposal is in the child’s best interests, a Greenville, SC judge is likely to approve it.
But not all parents get along, and even those who cooperate won’t necessarily agree on parenting terms. Even if the other parent is amiable, work with your Greenville, SC custody attorney to draft your own plan. If a joint proposal is not feasible, then you can submit yours to the judge. A comprehensive parenting plan should include the following:
The parent’s preferences. Start with whether you believe both parents should share joint custody or just one should have sole custody. If you choose joint custody, you can designate whether one parent should be primary custodian and the other secondary custodian.
The allocation of parenting time during the school year. This is a more detailed breakdown of the custody split. Using a 14-day time period, specify how the court should divide custody from one day to the next. Include weekends and special events like holidays and birthdays.
The allocation of parenting time during the summer. A summer schedule needs to also be included, along with any special considerations.
How each parent will make important decisions. Courts expect parents to propose who gets to make major decisions for the child and how disputes will be resolved. Include important issues such as the child’s education, medical and dental care, religious upbringing, and extracurricular activities.
Method and frequency of contact between each parent and the child. This concerns communications between a parent and the child when the other parent has custody. Identify which method(s) will be used – e.g. phone and/or social media – and how often communications should take place. Also address the method and frequency of communications between the parents themselves.
Restrictions. The court should know of any requested restrictions the other parent must observe while caring for the child. Examples include limits on disparaging the other parent and exposing the children to inappropriate consumption of alcohol.
Other considerations. If there is anything else you think the court should know, be sure to identify it. Keep these concerns focused on the child’s best interests.
The parenting plan can also be used to request the appointment of a guardian ad litem. This is an attorney who essentially represents the interests of the child. Talk to a Greenville, SC family law attorney about whether a guardian ad litem is appropriate for your case.
It is important that your proposed parenting plan is realistic and reasonable. If you travel heavily because of your work, a judge likely won’t give you the majority of custody time. Don’t ask the court to take away all custody rights from the other parent without a good reason. The court will not take your request seriously and it could prejudice the judge against you.
Also, using the parenting plan to simply air grievances against the other parent is a misuse of the process. It’s important to make the court aware of concerns relevant to the child. But the parenting plan is not an invitation for parents to needlessly trash each other. This is where the measured approach of a Greenville, SC custody attorney can prove invaluable. Your attorney can express your wishes and concerns to the judge in a measured and convincing way.
LET US HELP YOU WITH YOUR GREENVILLE, SC PARENTING PLAN
You deserve an attorney who understands your role as a parent and can effectively communicate your interests to the court. Let Greenville Family Law help. We are experienced in all aspects of family law and can help make your best case in custody court. Contact us today to set up your consultation.