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Your divorce and the need to create an effective parenting plan

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2021 | Family Law

You and your spouse may have decided to end your marriage, but the responsibilities relative to raising your children will continue.

In Colorado, you must submit a written parenting plan to the court, and the court encourages divorcing parents to work together to create that plan.

About the parenting plan

A parenting plan contains an allocation of parental responsibilities in raising your children. The court encourages couples to work as a team; for example, you can do so as part of a collaborative divorce. But If you cannot work together, you and the other parent must submit your own plans. A judge must choose one of them or create an entirely new plan, which will then become a court order.

Provisions to include

Every parenting plan is unique, but all contain certain important points such as the allocation of parental responsibilities, also called parenting time. This refers to both the weekday and weekend schedules during the school year as well as which parent will have responsibility for the children during holidays, summer vacation and special occasions. Your parenting plan must also include the allocation of day-to-day decision-making for matters such as the children’s medical and dental care, chores, allowance needs and discipline.

Changes to the plan

As the children grow, changes to the parenting plan will become necessary. Parents can make minor changes as long as they agree. However, modifications to child support or to the primary caretaker designation, the need for parental relocation or other substantial changes will require a court order.

Photo of Attorney Phillip A. Geigle