• Karima Muhammad

Parenting Plan and Mediation for Unwed Parents

Updated: 7 days ago

When unwed couples separate, they must agree on a timeshare plan or parenting plan to decide on child custody, support, and visitation provisions.

This article will provide a basic guideline for parenting or timeshare plan provisions to help unmarried parents save time and effort. However, it is best to check with an attorney to ensure that all the conditions you include in your plan protect your parental rights.

Parental plans are concise guidelines that address the future of the relationship between the parents and the child. Provisions for financial support, custody, visitation, educational support, medical care, and religious education are covered in a parenting plan until they reach maturity. Parenting plans can also cover grandparents' access to the child.

Financial support:

A financial support plan provides the child's current and future care, housing, food, clothes, etc. The financial support plan describes the monetary contributions of parents according to income and expenses. Here is a link to the Georgia child support worksheet Under O.C.G.A. 19-6.15:

Child custody:

There are two types of custody, legal custody and physical custody, under O.C.G.A 19-7-23 child born out of wedlock is defined as a child born to unmarried parents, a child who is not legitimized (see O.C.G. A. 19-7-20 legitimation).

The mother of a child born out of wedlock is the sole legal and physical custody until the father legitimized the child through a legal process. Don't hesitate to get in touch with a licensed attorney for more information on legitimization. Once legal paternity, the court will define custody between two parents. Keep in mind the court makes its decision solely on what is in the child's best interest. At this point, a parenting plan is discussed and executed.

Parenting plans under O.C.G.A. 19-9-1 defines the provision upon which parenting plans are designed to ensure parental access (visitation), decision-making of health, education, religious instruction, etc. Parents may create their parenting plan to submit to the court. A parenting plan mediation is possible if there is a conflict of ideas.

Modification of parenting plans:

As a child matures, their needs may change; therefore, the parenting plans must also change. For example, the parenting plan may cover the child from infancy to pre-school, elementary to intermediate school, and high school to pre-college. Along the way, the child's needs are changing. Also, keep in mind that the parents' situation will change through a new relationship or marriage, financial, and even illness.

What Happens When Things Go Wrong:

Regarding issues that may arise with parenting plans in non-compliance or modification conflicts, mediation has successfully resolved most issues. However, if the problem escalates to litigation, a licensed attorney can assist in navigating through the process, and perhaps mediation can be revisited.

Parenting Plan Mediation:

A mediation process is a non-adversarial approach towards resolving conflict. In parenting plan conflicts, the mediator works with both parents by providing insights into a solution moving forward to the future. Discussions of blame and shame about who did what led to the conflict are redirected to the parents' mutual goals and interests, which is what is best for their child. Often, the conflict occurs when parents are intimate with someone else or have married someone else. The other parent has issues with the relationship or the party thereof. The mediator will also address those issues.

Overall, it isn't easy when relationships end, especially when there are children involved. Mediation can help by providing a win-win-win solution for mom, dad, and child. If you would like more information about mediation, please reach out to us.

This article's information is for informational purposes, and no legal advice has been given or offered. T.K.M.F.L.L.: The Karima Muhammad Firm L.L.C. is not a law firm, nor are attorneys.

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Georgia Domestic Relations Laws Justia US Law (2015)

Domestic Relations Parenting Plans for Child Custody O.C.G.A.19-9-1 (West)

Domestic Rrelations Child Born Out Of Wedlock O.C.G.A. 19-7-23 (West)

Dometic Relations Child legitimation OCGA 19-7-20 (West)

Michelle Jordan State Bar of Georgia Navigating Custody Issues for Unmarried Parents (March 2, 2019)

Georgia Child Support Worksheet:

This article's information is for informational purposes, and no legal advice has been given or offered. T.K.M.F.L.L.C.: The Karima Muhammad Firm L.L.C. is not a law firm, nor are attorneys.

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