Creating a Delaware Parenting Plan

Jan 31 09:04 2011 Tracy Bensun Print This Article

It is important for you to know what the laws are regarding child custody and visitation in your state. Delaware details how to make a parenting plan.

As a parent who is divorced or separated,Guest Posting it is essential that you know the child custody laws of your state. In Delaware, you can find those laws in the Delaware Code and must be followed as you create a parenting plan. Title 13 of the Delaware Code, Domestic Relations, has the laws that apply to custody and restructuring of the family. Learning and understanding these laws will help prepare you for what to expect in court proceedings and will also help you create a parenting plan a Delaware court will accept. The court uses the best interests of the child as the determinant for ruling. The court must consider all relevant factors when determining what is in the child's best interests. Those factors include:

  • The parents' custodial and residential preferences

  • The child's custodial and residential preferences

  • The child's personal relationships with anyone who may significantly affect the child's best interests

  • How the child is involved in his or her current home, school and community

  • The mental and physical health and well-being of everyone involved in the child's life

  • The present and past history of parental compliance to their responsibilities and rights

  • Whether there is evidence of domestic violence or abuse

  • Any criminal histories of either parent or any person residing in either parent's household

In Delaware, parents can either share joint legal custody or one parent can have sole legal custody. Regardless of the arrangement, each parent is entitled to all information pertaining to any significant developments the child has in his or her life. This includes information about the child's school progress, school activities, religious events, medical treatments and any other activity or event of which the parents may want to be a part. Each parent also has the right to reasonable telephone and mail access to the child. The court can only restrict these rights if there is evidence that either parent exercising these rights would be potentially harmful to the child.

Parents in Delaware are encouraged by the court to help foster a meaningful relationship between the other parent and the child. The court will decide where the child will reside and also determine a visitation schedule. Because the court lacks the intimate knowledge of the child that the parents have, it is important for the parent to present a parenting plan that is in the child's best interests. A Delaware parenting plan should include the following features:

  • A visitation schedule that includes an everyday schedule, holidays, special events and vacations

  • A list of parental responsibilities such as who will make decisions about significant things in the child's life

  • A plan for resolving future disputes between parents

  • Provisions for making changes to the plan

  • Stipulations that prevent one parent from moving away in order to restrict access between the child and the other parent

  • A right of first refusal clause

The court may also grant temporary custody up to six months to give parents an opportunity to demonstrate their willingness and ability to work together and cooperate with the arrangement. At the end of the temporary order, the court will review it and can either permanently continue the order as it is or modify it. This may be good to ensure both parents have the child's best interests in mind.

Whatever you do, work together as much as possible to create an effective parenting plan that most benefits your child.

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About Article Author

Tracy Bensun
Tracy Bensun

Tracy Bensun is interested in the law and especially family law. Her main interest lies in how children are affected by divorce and child custody. She has done extensive research on her own and loves to share her knowledge. She is affiliated with Custody X Change, which is a software program designed to assist in child custody visitation schedules, custody agreements and parenting plans.

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