While parents may fear the impact of a divorce or paternity action on their child, many child custody cases can be handled by amicably negotiating terms to be included in a parent plan. A parenting plan will provide details about custody and visitation issues in your divorce, including such matters as a timesharing schedule, responsibility for daily decisions regarding your children, vacation schedules and other important issues involving child custody and visitation orders in a New Mexico divorce or paternity case. There are certain important areas that often are overlooked when developing a parenting plan so we have provided an overview of issues that many parties fail to include in their parenting plan unless they are represented by an experienced New Mexico Family Law Attorney.

Virtual Visitation Arrangements:

Advances in electronic communication have provided many additional ways for parents who are divorced to stay in touch with their kids. A New Mexico parenting plan may provide designated times for communication on social media sites like Facebook or video conferencing via the Internet. While some parents elect to approve liberal communication through text message, email and Skype, it may be advisable to provide more detailed guidelines if your relationship with the other parent is not particularly amicable. When you are represented by our family law firm, we assess the nature of your communication with the other parent so that we can provide you with options about how to structure these types of virtual visitation.

Religious Training:

This can be a difficult issue if parents do not practice the same religious faith. The parenting plan should address what religious training and exposure, if any, the child will receive. Because some religions have activities and services on multiple occasions during the week, parents may want to consider specifically defining the extent of the child’s participation so that it does not impair the other parent’s time with the child.

Limitations on Internet and Cell Phone Use:

Parents may have concerns about the sites a child is able to access on the internet as well as text messaging or calling activity on a mobile phone. Parenting agreements can establish whether a child will have a cell phone and how it may be utilized. The agreement may even provide for who will bear responsibility for paying for mobile phone service for your child.

Extracurricular Participation:

While extracurricular activities can be extremely beneficial for kids, they also raise a number of issues that parents may want to address in their parenting plan. There may be extracurricular activities that one of the parents does not wish to condone so restrictions on these types of activities can be indicated in the parenting agreement. The parents’ agreement may also address scheduling or arrangements for approving the scheduling of such activities to avoid conflicts with one of the parties parenting time or to prevent creating a situation where one of the parents is involuntarily locked into an unacceptable commute based on an activity scheduled by the other parent. Parents may even establish how the financial burden of such activities will be handled.

These are merely a few examples of items that parties sometimes fail to address in their parenting plan if they do not have input from an experienced New Mexico family law attorney. If you have questions about parenting plans or other issues related to child custody and visitation in New Mexico, the Santa Fe Child Custody Law Firm of Jay Goodman & Associates offers legal advice and representation to those involved in child custody disputes.

The above information is provided to illustrate general principles of law and should not be interpreted as a specific legal opinion on an individual case. You should contact experienced legal counsel to get specific legal advice that is based upon your specific circumstances.

The New Mexico divorce law firm of Jay Goodman & Associates offers a free consultation in our centrally located offices in Santa Fe and Albuquerque so that we can discuss your options. Call us today to schedule your free consultation at (505) 989-8117 to learn about your rights and options.


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