Divorces are never easy on anyone, but dependent children can be very vulnerable to disruption when the parents are maintaining adversarial attitudes toward each other. Minor children usually do not have legal representation in a divorce case, and the court system is very aware of the lack of advocacy. In a highly contested and emotionally charged divorce situation, the court often intervenes on behalf of the children when the parents cannot come to a resolution regarding a parenting plan. While an agreement on a parenting plan is not a direct visitation order from the court, it will still be a component of a final divorce decree. The fact that the parties agreed to the plan is always a better option, while providing some flexibility for parental visitation and responsibility when family issues change.

Parenting Plans Versus Court Ordered Visitation

Several states have modified the manner in which they approach child visitation after a divorce is final. Some states still use the traditional custody arrangement of full custody and control with one parent, which is normally the mother. However, in contemporary society both parents are usually working, and in addition, the parents may also live in different states. In situations like this, a parenting plan with some predetermined flexibility is the best agreement for everyone involved, and it is especially beneficial when the parents can respect opposing visitation rights. Positive communication is always the key to family cohesion, even when the parents are separated. Court orders allow for little flexibility and they can often create more problems intended to alleviate.

Criminal Issues From Failure to Comply

Failure to comply with a court order can quickly become a contempt of court legal issue. This potential predicament can be an excellent incentive to arrive at an amiable visitation plan for parents who are truly concerned about the concept of maintaining some resemblance of a family unit for dependent children. The parents may be divorced, but the children are not divorced from each other or either parent. And, children have rights also. When the court has purposely intervened in an aggravated divorce situation, there is a reason. Many times the court will also demand visitation be allowed under supervision, which will also carry other legal requirements. These conditions especially apply in cases that also include domestic violence within the family before the divorce.

Always remember that family courts in all states pay very close attention to communication ability of the parents in a divorce involving minor children. Parents that act like adults before the court normally do not get treated like unruly children when they can also decide on a reasonable and feasible parenting plan for their dependent children following a divorce.