Custody and parenting time are two of the most important components of divorce. Where your child will live and when he or she will spend time with the other parent are important decisions to be made. You and your spouse can draft up a parenting plan with a parenting time schedule if you both agree on the terms and conditions. A judge will have to decide for you if you cannot agree. In most cases, neither parent will be able to control parenting time, even if he or she has primary physical custody. Crafting a good parenting plan, however, can provide enough structure to develop and maintain a routine for your child while still allowing you and your spouse enough flexibility to follow the plan.
If you want to retain some level of control over parenting time, the best thing you can do is make sure you and your spouse draft a parenting plan that is focused on what is best for your child while still being flexible to your needs. It is important to craft a solid parenting plan that is respectful to both you and your spouse’s time and ensures the parenting responsibilities are shared fairly and reasonably. There are some things you can do to increase your child’s safety during parenting time if you are concerned for your child’s safety when he or she is with their other parent. You may be able to prevent parenting time altogether under certain circumstances.
The judge will need to approve your parenting plan for it to be legal. A parenting plan cannot be enforced if a judge does not sign it. The judge’s role in approving parenting plans is to make sure any legally enforceable plan is structured in the best interest of the child. If he or she reviews the proposed parenting plan and does not feel it is in the best interests of the child, it may need to be changed. For example, the judge may order that parenting time with your child must be supervised or held at a certain location. Consider working with an experienced Massachusetts divorce mediator if you want to make sure your parenting plan is reasonable and able to minimize the disruption divorce will cause to your child’s life. A divorce mediator can help you draft a parenting plan and parenting time schedule that allows you some level of control while your child is in your custody and provides both you and your spouse some flexibility to deviate from the plan as needed.
If you are going through a divorce and have questions about your custody arrangement, Mediation Advantage Services can help you. Polly A. Tatum is experienced in divorce mediation and can help you successfully handle your custody issues through guided and non-adversarial mediation, sparing you and your children the stress of litigation. Based in historic Worcester, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson. Call our office at 508-795-1557, fill out our online form, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free guide for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.