When you and your child’s other parent disagree over custody terms and task the state of Maryland with coming up with an arrangement for you, the state, in turn, requires you to create something called a parenting plan. A parenting plan outlines certain guidelines and stipulations both parents agree to adhere to and prioritizes your child’s best interests, first.
Per the Maryland Courts, at your first court hearing about child custody, you are going to receive instructions and certain documents relating to your creation of a parenting plan. The following are some of the areas you may want to address in yours.
Who has decision-making authority
Stipulate in your parenting plan who has decision-making authority (also known as “legal custody”) when it comes to your child and when. For example, maybe the parent watching the child at the time maintains general decision-making authority when the child is in his or her care, but both parents must confer when the matter is important, medical, etc.
How you plan to communicate
A parenting plan might also address how you and the other parent communicate with one another. Maybe it works better if you communicate by email, or maybe your relationship is such that you may call, text or email one another at any time. You may also want to cover how the parent who does not have the child in his or her care may reach out to that child while at the other parent’s home.
Parenting plans might cover many other areas in addition to those outlined above. The more thorough and detailed it is, the lower the chances of disagreements arising between you and your child’s other parent moving forward.