I started following DIY Divorce in Florida on Twitter and noticed this post from her blog:
JurisdictionSee SCOPE OF APPLICATION, EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION and A CHILD’S BASIC NEEDS.
Your Children’s Rights
General Principles of Shared Parenting
Transportation & Travel
So we just say that the Guidelines apply and leave it at that. But then some points about we do not, that gave me something to think about:
Decision-makingWe do not do this. The Guidelines cover the holiday (HOLIDAY PARENTING TIME SCHEDULE) and and Summer schedules but I infer a difference between us and this type of voluntary plan.
* Child Care Provider
Changes to the Plan
Parent-Child Communication Plan
Timesharing Plan - 7 different samples and a blank template you can customize
* Holidays, School Breaks, Vacations and Special Occasions
* Summer Schedule
I find the "Changes to the Plan" intriguing as we rely on the visitation modification statute for modifying parenting time - see IC 31-17-4-2. That statute uses the best interests of the child standard.
Mentioning "best interests" brings me to A parenting plan may not be modified solely on "best interests" from The New Hampshire Family Law Blog. That post notes and quotes at length from a New Hampshire opinion wherein a parenting plan cannot be modified on showing of the best interests of the child alone unless the parties agree or meet the New Hampshire statute's requirements:
...However, for routine and holiday schedule changes or other issues that do not call for a change in residential responsibility, there needs to be a mechanism to allow for modification based on best interests so that the court may tweak a parenting plan as the current needs of the child dictate.Maybe the detailed breadth and depth of our Guidelines are not such a bad thing.
Then maybe we lose something, too. By not writing their own parenting plans, Hoosiers lose being part of the process. Another part of the New Hampshire opinion quoted in A parenting plan may not be modified solely on "best interests" caught my and turned my mind onto this particular path:
I do not know Indiana parents even notice not being part of the process but just see The Parenting Time Guidelines as something they must accept. Not many realize that the courts are bound by the Guidelines but not the parties. Maybe most parents have no real objection to the Guidelines. Neither the Bar nor the bench have anyway of knowing.The parenting plan form itself encourages parents to view the plan as a work in progress as the children grow and their needs change from infant to teen, but the statute itself does not allow for the changes except in the case that the parents agree or major issues develop as set forth in 461-A:11.
If you think you want to create your parenting plan I suggest giving the Florida Parenting Plans - The Basics & Beyond a good look.
Also go back and read my "Parenting Time: Idea on Scheduling Times for Visitation" on the specific issue of communication.