Utah divorce law requires that a parenting plan be developed and ratified by both spouses when the court decides that either legal or physical custody of a child is to be shared, and when one spouse requests a change to an existing shared parenting arrangement. Our attorneys at Huntsman | Lofgran, PLLC help explain the ramifications of each aspect of the parenting plan and ensure that your arguments are heard. We offer compassionate, objective counsel and tenacious representation in all family law matters.
In a word: everything. As with the issue of child custody, a parenting plan anticipates future events in your child’s life and how your child is to be parented at that time. The purpose of the plan is to get both spouses to think ahead of time about how important child-rearing decisions — and parental disagreements — are going to be made later and to provide a more predictable, stable and less anxious future for your child.
A parenting plan is open-ended in that it may cover any eventuality you would like to see addressed, but by law it must include:
Though the parenting plan is intended to be a guiding factor, it does not preclude each parent from making day-to-day decisions while the child is living with that parent nor from making emergency decisions on behalf of the child’s health or safety.
The court may order that a parent coordinator, a mental health coordinator with expertise in child development, work with the spouses to help bring about an agreement on the parenting plan issues. Neither parent is compelled to accept the coordinator’s recommendations.
Once a parenting plan is set, the court expects neither spouse to violate it. One parent’s violation of the plan does not give the other parent license to deviate from it likewise. When a parent’s circumstances change or a parent otherwise finds the plan unworkable, he or she may petition the court to draw up a new parenting plan.
Our attorneys at Huntsman | Lofgran, PLLC in Salt Lake City understand the ramifications of parenting plan components and provide you with a greater perspective in planning for the long term. Call us at 801-474-0031 or contact us online today to make sure your and your child’s best interests get the representation they deserve. Put our knowledge and experience to work for you.