When parents in Pennsylvania get divorced or otherwise choose to end their relationship, they will typically share custody or other rights to their children. In most cases, the rights of each parent are listed in a written parenting plan. Ideally, the plan will determine who gets custody of the child during a holiday or if school is closed on a Monday or Friday. It is also important to figure out protocols for attending family events.
As a general rule, children should be allowed to attend birthday parties, weddings and other events even if it may be inconvenient for the adults. One of the thorniest issues that parents may have to confront is if it is appropriate to introduce their children to new partners. Ideally, the plan will include rules for both when and how the introduction will happen.
For instance, it may be possible to stipulate that an introduction won’t happen until a relationship becomes serious. It could also stipulate that the other parent will be informed before an introduction occurs. A parenting plan should address the issue of who will watch the child when mom or dad is unable to. In such a scenario, the plan may require that a son or daughter be left in the care of a current babysitter or nanny.
In many cases, it is in a child’s best interest for both parents to share custody of a son or daughter. Parents who are able to work together in good faith may be able to create a child custody plan without the need to go to court. An attorney may help an individual negotiate an agreement or review any agreement that is reached. Generally speaking, a family law judge will approve any plan that parents come up with on their own.