How Do Parenting Plans Work in Maryland?

Parties involved in a Maryland child custody case must submit a parenting plan to the court. While a party to a child custody case is typically a parent, a party may be a de facto parent or another adult wishing to establish a parent-child relationship with a child.

A child custody case may stem from any family law case where child custody is at issue, like a divorce, paternity, or child custody modification.

What is a Parenting Plan in Maryland?

A parenting plan in Maryland is a written document establishing parties’ rights and responsibilities to a child. This includes any legal decision-making authority or legal custody, physical custody, and time-share arrangements.

Why are Parenting Plans Important?

Parenting plans are important because they ensure consistent, continued contact between the parties and the child. They allow for routine and structure in the child’s life. Parenting plans are meant to meet the child’s needs while allowing both parties to play an active role in child-rearing.

Parenting plans are a tool for problem-solving and conflict resolution. These plans usually contain enough detail to resolve disputes that would otherwise require court intervention.

Whenever possible, parties should work together and create their own plans. By doing so, they can ensure that any provisions and schedules are realistic, meet the child’s needs, and their abilities to fulfill.

Creating a Parenting Plan in Maryland

Creating a parenting plan can be overwhelming. The parties must make many personal, practical, and legal decisions. An experienced family law attorney can ensure a parenting plan is complete and legally sound before presentation to the court.

The court’s ultimate concern when approving a parenting plan is the best interest of the child. Therefore, the following should be considered when making any Maryland parenting plan:

    Frequent, regular, and continuing contact with both parties;
    The child’s physical and emotional security;
    The child’s developmental needs;
    The child’s education, socialization, culture, and religion;
    Maintaining the child’s relationship with the parties, siblings, other relatives, or other individuals who have or likely may have a significant relationship with the child;
    The age of the child;
    •Any military deployment of a party and its effect, if any, on the parent-child relationship;
    • The location of each party’s home as it relates to their ability to coordinate parenting time, school, and activities; and
    • The ability of the parties to communicate and co-parent.

If the parties agree to a parenting plan, the court will review the plan in light of the best interest of the child. If the plan is approved, it will be adopted as a court order and enforceable.

Parties who cannot agree to a parenting plan must submit a statement to the court outlining points of agreement and disagreement. The court will schedule a settlement conference and trial to resolve the matter.

Contact an Experienced Maryland Family Law Attorney Today

If you would like more information about parenting plans in Maryland, contact the family law team at Shah & Kishore. We can explain these necessary arrangements to you in further detail and can help you create a plan that suits your child and your lifestyle.

No one parenting plan works for every family. Learn about your legal custody options and time-share possibilities at Shah & Kishore today.

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