Kansas lawmakers wanted couples to prepare for the impact that divorce has on children, so legislators passed a law requiring Kansas couples with children going through divorce to file parenting plans. The plans detail which parent will perform what parenting functions and reaches an agreement about child custody. Both parents are supposed to be involved in drafting the plan, and the parents are supposed to keep the child’s best interests in mind when formulating the parenting plan. Parents in Kansas should know what information the law requires parenting plans to contain and what some of the benefits of a parenting plan are.

Parenting Plan Requirements

A Kansas parenting plan needs to include the following information:

  • The child’s main residency
  • A schedule of parenting time for the non-custodial parent
  • A schedule for holidays, vacations and special occasions
  • A plan for how the parents will make important decisions dealing with the child’s education, health care and religious upbringing
  • Plans for the ways in which parent will continue to be involved in the child’s activities
  • Methods for reducing or eliminating conflict between the parents
  • A procedure for modifying the plan to meet the changing needs of the parents and the child
  • An agreement to use mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution if the parents have a disagreement they cannot settle themselves

Forming a Parenting Plan

Parents can draft parenting plans in a number of ways. They can write a plan themselves, or approve plans that their lawyers write. In some cases where the parents are having difficulty reaching agreements on parenting issues, parents may also consult mediators to write a plan. In mediation, a neutral third party helps the parents address conflicts and potentially reach resolutions.

The court will review the parenting plan that the parents submit to ensure that it protects the best interests of the child. The court may ask the parents to modify or totally re-write the plan if it does not meet the child’s best interests.

Consult an Attorney

Going through a divorce can be a stressful and emotionally-charged experience. Those going through divorce often need help navigating the court system and all of the legal requirements of ending a marriage and parenting after the end of a marriage. If you are considering a divorce, talk to an experienced family lawyer who can discuss your situation with you and advise you of your options.