When parents do not live together, they can create a parenting plan that determines when and for how long the child will live with each parent. Parenting plans also include guidelines for making decisions about the child as they arise, such as transportation, medical care, and more. While an Oregon judge may order the establishment of a parenting plan following a trial or hearing, parents may also collaborate—on their own or with the guidance of an attorney or mediator—to write their own parenting plan. Here are the answers to three common questions about parenting plans in the Portland area.
1. How Can an Oregon Parenting Plan Help My Child and Me?
There are several benefits to creating a parenting plan. Most importantly, putting a parenting plan in place allows your child to spend designated time with both parents on a regular basis. Enjoying scheduled parenting time nurtures relationships between the child and both parents. Non-custodial parents often feel more involved in their child’s life once a parenting plan is created. A parenting plan also establishes clear expectations for the parents and child, making planning easier for everyone involved and reducing the potential for disputes about visitation, decision-making, and other points of possible contention.
2. What Information Do I Include in a Parenting Plan?
The Oregon Judicial Department offers an Interactive Parenting Plan (IPP) tool that parents can use to complete a parenting plan. This interactive guide leads you through a series of questions to help you create a parenting plan that addresses your needs. Your parenting plan typically articulates your goals for your child, specifies a parenting time schedule, identifies plans for vacation and holiday schedules, provides instructions for transferring the child between households, creates guidelines for making decisions about the child, and addresses how the parents will communicate about their children.
3. We’ve Made a Parenting Plan. Now What?
Once you and your child’s other parent have created a written parenting plan, you have a few options. To make the plan legally enforceable, you may file an action to include the parenting plan in a court judgment. You could also provide a copy of the parenting plan—signed by both parents—to the child support worker for use in calculating a child support order. Some parents decide to keep the parenting plan private, using it to symbolize their shared commitment to their children. At any point, enlisting the guidance of a trusted family law attorney is the best way to ensure that you achieve your parenting plan goals.
If you need compassionate and effective legal guidance regarding a parenting plan or family law matter in the Portland area, call Lee Tyler Family Law, P.C. at (503) 233-8868 today to discuss your goals with a trusted family law attorney and mediator.