Decisions regarding the care and custody of children and teenagers can be extremely stressful. At the Law Office of Elizabeth Stup, LLC, we strive to assist mothers and fathers in preparing parenting plans that actually work for both parents and their children.
Often, decisions regarding custody and parenting access must be made in the context of a marriage or relationship that is breaking down between the parents. Communication may be extremely strained or even impossible. Adding to the stress can be the fear of having to move to a different residence and the additional expenses involved in setting up separate households. We help our clients to consider what the future holidays, summer school breaks and school weeks will look like for them and their children.
Whether the father and mother have been married or living together, they will continue to be co-parents of the children and they must figure out how to structure the new co-parenting relationship. Parenting plans are the agreements between the parents that define where and when the children will be with each parent. The parenting plan may be part of the separation agreement or it may be a completely separate document. These parenting plans can be very general or extremely detailed. It is important to have enough detail in the parenting plan that mother and father can each understand what is expected of them. If mother and father are able to work together and be flexible in their opportunities to spend time with the children, the parenting plan may simply be the default or fall back plan.
Nothing in a divorce is more difficult or complex than the issues of child custody and access. Our attorneys help parents develop workable access schedules and parenting plans that meet their children’s needs and fit the families’ unique goals and objectives.
We also assist parents who may not have gotten a sufficiently detailed and structured parenting plan when they initially separated or divorced. It is important to try to get the schedule as close to a workable arrangement as possible when initially going through the separation and divorce. However, if there is a material change of circumstances it may be necessary to go back to court to modify the custody and access arrangement.
Even years after a marriage has ended, events may transpire that affect the terms of a divorce agreement. When a material change in circumstances exists, a party can petition for a post-judgment modification. For example, changes may be made if the current arrangement becomes detrimental to the child, or because a parent has remarried, moved, or the child’s needs have changed. If your original divorce agreement no longer reflects the current circumstances, we can help you seek a modification.