When couples who have children go through a divorce in South Carolina, the South Carolina family court encourages the divorcing couple to arrive at an agreement of their own accord as to how the couple will handle matters relating to their children. South Carolina is a strong proponent of joint child custody whenever joint custody would be in the best interest of the child, and, as such, the family court asks parents who are interested in sharing joint custody of the children to prepare a parenting plan. A parenting plan is an agreement, made in writing, that details how the parents have decided to handle matters related to their children.
Parenting Plans Lay Out Custody Arrangements
One of the most important things a parenting plan does is lay out the child custody arrangement between the parents. Parents can choose a joint custody arrangement, sole custody arrangement, or some combination thereof, or parents can choose to distinguish between which parent has physical custody and/or legal custody of the children (physical custody refers to who the child lives with, and legal custody means which parent gets to make important decisions about the child).
Who Makes Decisions? How Is Information Conveyed?
Parents can divvy up which parent gets to make certain important decisions related to the child, or can work together to figure out how to handle these types of issues in their parenting plan. Some of the biggest points of contention between divorced parents center on making decisions concerning the children’s education and physical well being. Further issues include how children will be raised, what religious upbringing the children will have, how the children will be spiritually educated, and how the children will be administered medical care. Parenting plans can be immensely helpful in assisting parents in identifying strategies to deal with these types of decisions when they arise later down the road.
It is important for parents to work out their custody schedule. Custody schedules should be largely consistent so that the children can get used to a pattern of custody, which can give the children’s life much needed structure and certainty after a divorce. Perhaps mom will normally have the kids during the school week, and dad will normally have the children during the weekends. It is also important to set out which holidays, birthdays and other special occasions each parent will have custody of the children. Developing a detailed custody schedule allows everyone in the custody arrangement to see and understand what the arrangement will be and how much time each parent will spend with the children.
Contacting A South Carolina Family Law Attorney
Your children are important to you and it is completely understandable that you want to spend as much time as possible with them. Joint custody is a way to spend time with your children. Developing a parenting plan by working together with your ex-spouse is the most direct way to get as much time as you can with your children. If you need help working out or negotiating a parenting plan, the family law attorneys at Sarji Law Firm, LLC are ready and available to help you. Please give us a call today at 843-323-4341.