Parenthood is more than a responsibility; it's a privilege. In recent years, New Hampshire law has changed in relation to parents’ rights and the time they spend with their children. The labels custody and visitation are long gone, replaced with the more accurate parenting time and parenting rights. Good parents have every right to raise their children, spend as much time as possible with them, be involved in their major life events, and participate in the decisions that affect their children’s lives. The courts understand this, and New Hampshire law supports it.
When you can’t agree, the courts step in.
As parents, you are generally in the best position to determine what is best for your children. However, when you cannot agree, the courts will get involved in deciding how your children are raised. Court involvement generally comes in the form of a written parenting plan that covers issues like deciding who has primary residential responsibility or whether residential responsibility will be equally shared; establishing routine schedules for time spent with each parent; and establishing holiday, vacation and three-day weekend schedules. Parenting plans also spell out how parents should communicate with one another for the benefit of their children, and how they must make every effort to treat each other with respect, especially in the presence of their children.
Unlike an order of child support, a parenting plan is likely to change from time-to-time as children grow and mature and as parents’ situations change. As parents, you will be encouraged to modify the plan as you see fit, or as events arise and changes occur. However, you will always have this fallback schedule in the event you and your ex-spouse cannot agree.
Tools to help you establish the best plan possible.
The use of a court-appointed third party mediator is an excellent way to work toward the common goal of establishing a plan that is in your children’s best interest. Co-parenting counseling can also help parents communicate more effectively for the benefit of their children. In cases where parents cannot find common ground, the court will appoint a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) to conduct an investigation and make a recommendation to the court. Call us to discuss the impact and the work that a GAL will entail.
Celenza Family Law can help you establish the best parenting plan for your children through effective settlement, negotiation and mediation techniques; or, if the case calls for it, through aggressive representation in court. Call for assistance today!