The process of obtaining a divorce in the state of Georgia can be extremely complicated or quite simple depending on the couple and the issues that they will be deciding. For couples that have children the process can be particularly involved considering the issues that need to be resolved even before the divorce is final. To this end, one of the first things that will need to be done at the beginning of the divorce proceedings is the filing of a parenting plan which will outline how the parents of the child will co-parent once the divorce is final.
If the parents of the child are unable to reach an agreement the issues will need to be resolved either through mediation or litigation in superior court. A few of the issues that will be addressed are legal custody, physical custody, medical treatment and the sharing of parenting time.
O.C.G.A §19-9-1 provides a guideline for what must be included in a parenting plan:
- A recognition that a close and continuing parent-child relationship in the child’s life will be in the child’s best interest.
- A recognition that the parents will adjust and make modifications as the child’s needs change.
- That both parents will have access to the child’s records.
- A statement as to when and where the child will be in each parent’s physical care, including but not limited to holidays, birthdays, vacations, school breaks and other special occasions.
- A statement as to how the child will be exchanged between both parties.
- Whether supervision will be needed for parenting time.
- Whether any limitations will exist while one parent has physical custody of the child.
Essentially, the purpose of a parenting plan is to outline with as much detail as possible how divorcing spouses intend to share the responsibilities of parenthood from separation until their child or children are independent or emancipated. It goes without saying that these issues are the most contentious for couples who find themselves in the position of ending their marriage. It is critical to obtain representation experienced with the divorce process to help you navigate through custody, support, modifications and other family and divorce related matters. Contact the Faucette Law Firm today for a consultation.