Child Custody FAQ's

What is a permanent parenting plan?

A "permanent parenting plan" is a detailed written outline of how divorcing parents will care for their children. Parenting plans contain an allocation of parenting responsibilities, the establishment of a residential schedule, and an allocation of child support.

What does it mean to be the primary residential parent?

Technically, the primary residential parent is the parent with whom the child resides more than half of the time.

Does the primary residential parent have the right to make all decisions?

A permanent parenting plan must allocate decision-making authority to one or both parents regarding the child's: education, health care, extracurricular activities, and religious upbringing.

I told my husband that if he'll let me have the children most of the time, I won't make him pay child support. Is that okay?

Child support is based on a few factors, the two most significant of which are the parties' incomes and residential parenting time with the child. Child support is meant to compensate the parent spending more time (and money) on the child. One cannot simply waive child support for no reason.

Isn't it true that if you aren't the primary parent you can only see the children every other weekend?

No. We refer to this schedule as the "old-school standard plan" because it is one that was often utilized in the past. However, recent legislative changes to the statute and trends in court encourage a more equal split if it is in the best interest of the children.

My ex does not follow the parenting plan. Is there anything I can do about that?

As long as you are not preventing your child's other parent from following the parenting plan, you may need to speak with an attorney about a potential contempt issue.

My child's other parent has not paid child support or seen our child in months. Is there anything I can do?

You need to speak with an attorney to determine if the other parent has potentially abandoned the child. You may have the ability to either modify the parenting plan or, in most extreme cases, terminate the other parent's rights.