Divorcing Alaskan couples with children may draft a parenting plan to address child custody and visitation issues. The plan will then be submitted to the court for evaluation and will be ordered only if the court finds that the plan caters to the child’s best interests. The court may consider several factors including:
- The child’s needs
- Parents’ ability and willingness to meet child’s needs
- The child’s relationship with each parent
- The ability of parents to cooperate with each other
- Whether there is a history of domestic violence or neglect in the household
What is included in a parenting plan?
A parenting plan generally consists of a parenting schedule and decision-making arrangement. An attorney can help ensure that you include the specific details you need to include so that your agreement gets approved by the court.
The parenting schedule addresses which parent will have physical custody of the child at any given time. There are several scheduling options, but generally, if both parents are physically, emotionally, and financially able to care for the children, both parents should be assigned specific days and times with the children.
Additionally, the parenting schedule should address how and where the child should be transferred between parents (e.g., parents meet in the school parking lot).
Decision making refers to major decisions made that impact the child’s upbringing. One parent can have sole decision-making authority or both parents can share this decision-making power. These decisions typically relate to important issues like the child’s education and health.
If you require assistance with drafting your parenting agreement or just need guidance on how to handle any child custody issue that arises in your divorce, consider consulting with an attorney. Your attorney can represent you during negotiations with your ex, while making sure that your child remains the main priority throughout the process.