Creating a parenting plan in a Louisville divorce is one of the most important and often contentious issues. The parenting plan addresses part of the child custody issues associated with a divorce:
How time with the child(ren) will be shared by the parents of the child(ren)
While it may be a myth that Kentucky law requires shared parenting and equal time between the parties, this is not uncommon in many Louisville parenting plans. The law is actually concerned with the “best interests of the child.” Kentucky case law recognizes it is in the best interests of a child to spend regular, consistent quality time with each parent. How this time is to be divided in practice can result in emotional disagreements leading to expensive and time-consuming litigation. This simply doesn’t have to be the case.
When creating a parenting plan in a Louisville divorce one must separate themselves from their own motives and think about what is in the best interests of the child(ren). Think about the normal “rhythms” of family life before the divorce. Where did they go to school? What activities did they participate in and how did they get there? When were they used to seeing their parents based upon work and social schedules?
An effective parenting plan will work to protect the existing rhythms in the life of a child as much as possible. Economics may play a role in continuing things such as private education or extra-curricular activities or they may continue unabated. Each parent should give independent thought as to the unique needs of each child as well as their age, personality and temperament, attachments, existing education and extra-curricular activities as well their safety.
The most successful parenting plans are the result of negotiation between the parties and their representatives. The attorneys at Dodd & Dodd each have decades of experience representing clients in these matters before Louisville family law courts. This experience informs the advice and counsel we provide to our clients adding insight and multiple options to help to accomplish their goals and objectives.
Mediation is a good alternative when there is principled disagreement while developing a parenting plan in a Louisville area divorce. Mediation works to create a conflict-free environment where the parties work together to find common ground and ultimately develop solutions to resolve part or all of the issues related to parenting time and other aspects of the divorce. Negotiation and mediation are the fastest and usually the most cost-effective strategy to resolve parenting time disputes.
Those issues which cannot be resolved through negotiation or mediation must be ultimately resolved by a total stranger to you and your children: a judge. Most parties walk away from this type of litigation feeling as if they had been punched in the stomach. It is rarely a “win” or “lose.” Judges want each party to feel like they’ve had to give up a lot. This is the basis for what many consider to be a “fair” decision.
It is also important to understand there are multiple long-term studies which show parents who are able to resolve parenting time issues through negotiation or mediation are much more likely to keep these agreements after a divorce decree is issued. This cuts down on the level of discord in their lives and saves much of the time and expense of post-decree modifications and litigation.
Creating a parenting plan in a Louisville divorce usually requires the advice and counsel of experienced and proven family law attorneys. We invite you to review the strong recommendations of our former clients and contact us or call 502-584-1108 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced divorce and family law attorneys.