Custody plans can be a tough topic in South Carolina divorces. However, many couples have the opportunity to take it upon themselves to draft up a custody plan before the court can get involved.
Drafting up your own custody plan with your spouse can foster a strong foundation for successful co-parenting in the future. It can also help you and your spouse avoid child custody proceedings, which can make things more expensive at best and a lot more strenuous at worst.
What to put in your custody plan?
Custody plans should address which parent has custody when as well as who has custody for the majority of the time. This part is called establishing joint or sole custody.
Joint custody is where both parents have custody over the child, which means they have a say in parenting decisions and legal rights to the child. Sole custody is where only one parent has custody of the child – but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the other parent forfeits their rights entirely.
A common arrangement is when both parents have legal custody while only one parent has full-time physical custody. Legal custody involves the decisions related to parenting the child and physical custody determines who’s responsible for the child’s daily care.
How to address visitation rights?
The custody plan should address visitation schedules and various parenting times. Visitation schedules should address things like weekends and holidays, as well as pick-up and drop-off schedules.
How to get custody plans approved
You and your ex-spouse will still need to bring custody plans to the court to be approved, but there won’t be a litigation process behind it. With that being said, you should still take time to build the custody plan and make sure it works for all involved.