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Visitation and Parenting Plans

When parents divorce or separate, often their biggest concern is how much time they will be able to spend with their children after the divorce or separation.  It is not unusual for parents to postpone or resist divorce when they believe they will end up with less time with their children.  When staying together is not an option, the ideal situation is where both parents are able to discuss and agree upon a parenting plan that makes the most sense for their own family members.  An attorney can  advocate on your behalf and help negotiate and draft a parenting plan.   Where parents cannot agree, the Court will decide child custody and visitation issues for them.

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Parenting plans can address some or all the following issues:

  • Which parent will have legal custody, or whether legal custody will be shared
  • Which parent will have physical custody, or whether physical custody will be shared
  • Where and with whom the children will spend the majority of their time
  • Day-to-day schedules, including drop off and pick up dates, times and locations
  • Holiday and vacation schedules
  • Telephone time between parents and children

We Can Help

As your attorneys, we can explain your options, help you identify your goals, help you negotiate a parenting plan, and advocate on your behalf, whether in negotiations with the other parent or in Court.

At our firm, Ferraro & Boulé, Attorneys at Law, we recognize that navigating the Probate and Family Court alone can be intimidating and confusing, and routinely help our clients formulate and obtain optimal parenting plans.  We strive to offer affordable representation, at all levels of income.  We zealously represent our clients’ interests, while keeping in mind the paramount importance of their children’s wellbeing.

If you need help in any area of family law, or would like to discuss your options, contact us today to set up a free initial consultation.  Use the email form to the right, or call 617/969-0400.

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Parenting Plans address day-to-day schedules, as well as special events, such as birthdays and holidays.

 

Q&A (see Rhonda’s profile on Avvo.com):

Question by Avvo user:
Being pressured into hiring a Guardian ad Litem for parenting plan roadblock – Should I agree?

My future ex-husband has been an uninvolved parent, preferring to pursue his own interests vs. quality time with our daughter. He abruptly moved out without notice (cruel) and our daughter refused to see him for 4 months, but now sees him 5 hours/mo (due to my encouragement) . We are drafting a divorce agreement (with attorneys) but he wants immediate 33% parenting time (more than our daughter presently wants) or hire a Guardian ad Litem (huge expense). I suggested we gradually increase his parenting time, in consultation with her counselor(s), not force her. Husband rejected this plan outright. What is the role/training/power of a GAL? Will a GAL favor a cookie-cutter parenting plan vs. making an effort to listen to our special circumstances? Advice please!! Additional information: Daughter is a teenager, still thriving in school (and socially) despite the circumstances. She is comfortable with the present arrangement with her Dad.

ANSWER:

As an alternative to a time consuming and often costly GAL investigation,
the purpose of which is to determine the best interests of the children,
Courts will consider appointing an attorney to represent the child and
determine her preferences, especially where the child is old enough to
articulate her views. The appointment is through the ARC program –
Attorneys Representing Children – a free program for which family law
attorneys volunteer. I would suggest that you request such an appointment
in your case, especially if there are limited funds for a GAL. I have
encountered prominent, talented family law attorneys who have volunteered
to serve as counsel for children in such cases, and their participation has
always helped move the case toward resolution.

Ferraro &  Boulé, Attorneys at Law: Experienced, Compassionate and Dedicated to Our Clients