When there are children in the marriage, the courts in North Dakota need a parenting plan as part of the divorce settlement. Each state has specific expectations for the parenting plan which you should include as you draft your petition.
Here are some things your parenting plan should include.
Custody schedule and parenting time allocations
The custody schedule for the children must clearly define the primary physical and legal custody, visitation schedules and transportation requirements for those custodial periods.
Every parenting plan should define how you make decisions about the children, including dispute resolution for times when the two parents disagree. In most cases, either one parent has the ultimate authority or a third party settles disputes.
Detail the permissible means of communication, including text message requirements, if preferred for documentation purposes. In addition, include the permissible communication tools for parents and children while the kids are with the other parent.
Procedures for schedule changes
When one parent needs to change the visitation schedule for any reason, a clear process for those changes sets expectations and reduces conflict. Define the acceptable reasons for schedule changes and the methods permitted for doing so.
Parenting plans should clearly define the expectations for each party to care for and respond to the children. Address any specific concerns that apply to your children, such as accommodations for special needs, and include the basic expectations so that the court can see a reasonable effort for co-parenting. Remember that everything should prioritize your children and their relationships with each parent.