Chapter Five: Educate yourself on the laws in your state
It makes little sense to begin talking to your ex about creating a parenting plan without first educating yourself regarding the laws in your state. You need a lawyer who can tell you your rights and what you should expect to achieve once the lawsuit is over. Your lawyer will also inform you as to what goes into the parenting plan and how you can customize the plan to meet your needs.
Once you are properly informed as to the laws in your state, you should be able to create the basic framework for how your parenting plan should read. If you can streamline the points you want, you can begin to communicate with your ex and determine what you can both agree on. Every state is different and it is important to talk to your lawyer about provisions you would want included in the order.
Different types of clauses can be incorporated into an order to fit your needs. Some states have language to allow you to have a right of first refusal; in other words, you would have access to your children when you know your ex is going to be at work. Some states allow you to incorporate morality language, allowing you to enjoin your ex from having the children in the presence of a paramour they just met. There can be language for telephonic access to the children as well as where the children go to school. The list is never ending, and you will find that your lawyer will assist you in including any additional provisions in the plan that addresses your particular situation.
Do not be the parent who knows the law as well as the ins and outs of their parenting plan in such detail that it disrupts your ex’s access to the child. Understand that the parenting agreement is a living and breathing document; it will need to be modified from time to time as your children grown and change. Remember to be flexible when you are implementing it. If you cannot be flexible, you run the risk of having to go back to court every few years for further modifications.