Modern Family Matters

The Secret to Creating a High-Caliber Parenting Plan That Works

August 09, 2022 with Pacific Cascade Legal Season 1 Episode 63
Modern Family Matters
The Secret to Creating a High-Caliber Parenting Plan That Works
Show Notes Transcript

In this interview, we sit down with Family Law Attorney, Zach Santos, to talk through the most important elements to consider when crafting a high-caliber parenting plan with your co-parent. In this interview, Zach answers the following:

•    How will the age of my child have an effect on the schedule?
 •    Who’s in charge of creating the parenting plan—the parents, or a judge?
 •    What should I include in my custody and visitation schedule?
 •    Is a visitation schedule the same thing as a parenting plan?
 •    What if I’m worried about my (or my children’s) safety around the other parent?
 •    Does a parenting plan address child support?
 •    How can parenting time schedules be built around the specifics of our situation?
 •    … and much more!

If you would like to speak with one of our family law attorneys, please call our office at (503) 227-0200, or visit our website at

Disclaimer: Nothing in this communication is intended to provide legal advice nor does it constitute a client-attorney relationship, therefore you should not interpret the contents as such.

Welcome to Modern Family Matters, a podcast devoted to exploring family law topics that matter most to you. Covering a wide range of legal, personal, and family law matters, with expert analysis from skilled attorneys and professional guests, we hope that our podcast provides answers, clarity, and guidance towards a better tomorrow for you and your family. Here's your host, Steve Altishin.

Steve Altishin  0:32  
Hi, everyone. I'm Steve Altishin, Director of Client Partnerships here at Pacific Legal. And I'm here today with Attorney Zach Santos to talk about what goes into a good parenting plan, and why it's so darn important that you have one. So Zach, how you doing today?

Zach Santos  0:48  
Well, Steve, had a late night flying back in from the east coast hanging out with my parents, but feeling good and excited to join you and everyone here today.

Steve Altishin  0:57  
I like it. There's nothing better than an adrenaline-- my brains not working-- adrenaline rush. So Zack, before we get started on details of what goes into a good parenting plan, can tell us just a little bit about yourself?

Zach Santos  1:12  
Yeah. So I'm working on year four as an attorney in family law. I worked in family law, and juvenile law, which is a close cousin, for a couple years throughout law school. And for better or worse, I decided to bet this is the career path that I wanted to get on for a stage of my life. I kind of approached it from more religious reasons. I felt like this is where God wanted me to be to serve his people going through the toughest times in life and structuring very crazy, critical things, like parenting plans. And so I just felt like there's a lot of purpose there. And I've been diving in and mostly enjoying it for the past four or so years. And we'll see how it goes. And I just love working with regular people. I love helping them work out these kinds of very intricate issues and problems. And it's really what drives me every day.

Steve Altishin  2:07  
Oh, that's really cool, actually. So let's, before we talk about what actually goes into the darn plan, talk about why it's so important to have a good thorough parenting plan.

Zach Santos  2:22  
Right. So the reason why you want to have it is that, for you and your kiddos, you need stability, you need certainty, you need to know what's gonna-- you need to do your best to anticipate issues that might arise, XYZ. What are we going to do when there's a communication issue? What are we going to do when, what's going on with summer? What are we going to do with exchanges? You need to be able to anticipate as much as you possibly can. No one can anticipate every single issue that might arise over 18 years. But the more you can be specific and reasonable and iron out these kinds of very critical details in a parenting plan, the less need for drama, and huge expensive litigation disputes, where if two parents disagree, then maybe the one will hail them back to court to try to modify a very general, very ambiguous parenting plan. And then you spend potentially your life savings that could be earmarked towards your kids taking care of them, just battling it out, and nobody wins. Nobody wins, just about all the time, in family law. It's kind of like a measure to ensure that there's just certainty moving forward and amicability between the parents, and hopefully something that really works for everyone.

Steve Altishin  3:40  
That makes complete sense. Are parenting plans required?

Zach Santos  3:47  
Yes, they are required when there's a child at play, and the specific statute that kind of addresses it, which is something that I encourage everyone here to bookmark and review, which is ORS.107.102. What it basically states is that in every case involving kids, there needs to be some form of parenting plan. It doesn't need to be super specific, like the ones that I like to tailor for my clients. But it can be general, bare minimum. It needs to address how much time each parent is going to have with the kids, when exchanges will be-- enough to be able to basically put a bandaid on things in the hope, and it's pretty aspirational, but the hope that parents can kind of iron things out on their own. Sometimes in a divorce, there's a reason why they divorce, hence the need for specific plans. But yes, to answer to the question more directly, yes, these kinds of things are mandated.

Steve Altishin  4:48  
Okay, so let's now move to some of the details that go into a well-thought-out parenting plan that's going to work now and in the future. I know one of the first things you talked about that needs to kind of be addressed is sort of the decision making authority and responsibilities of each parent?

Zach Santos  5:07  
Right. So decision making. That's the kind of legalese term that you kind of hear often on TV, certainly in custody. And I think that we're not going to go too deep into how custody is determined and all that, that's a whole separate webinar. But the main concept I want you to take away is that there's a difference between parenting time and custody. Parenting time, to me, is the most important possible thing. It's the literal amount of time you are going to have with your child or children. Custody is decision making, who's going to make the big sweeping decisions for the kids? Now, day to day decisions-- who's going to take them to soccer practice, who's going to make food for them, just regular decisions, that's the parent who has the kid for that specific day. But when it comes to major decisions, that's custody. And that kind of falls into three what I call buckets: non-emergency health care, and I say non emergency because emergency health care, either parent can can make those decisions, and there's specific statute that operates that, which is ORS.107.154. So non-emergency health care, so vaccines, surgeries that that can be scheduled out a couple of weeks, who's gonna be the primary care provider? Who's going to be the therapists? Things like this, who's gonna facilitate beta blockers for anxiety medications? Something like that. Non-emergency healthcare, that's the big one. Another one is education. Who's going to determine are they gonna go to a homeschool, are they gonna go to private school, whose home is going to be the zone for public school districting purposes for education? And the last one is religion. So both parents can facilitate religious indoctrination under the Constitution, but the custodial parent can determine who's going to be the primary indoctrinate, or like, where they're gonna be members of a synagogue or a church, or facilitate baptism, something like that.

Steve Altishin  7:13  
Yeah, this kind of level of detail on custody, which you don't normally see a lot, you know, you'll see, okay, wife has custody, let's move on. It feels like what you're doing here is you're making it more thorough so that there aren't these weird questions that come up a year later.

Zach Santos  7:37  
Certainly, because not everyone are weirdos like me who go to law school for three years and then dive into this every single day. The people who are tuning into this are normal. That's what I like to call them, like muggles in Harry Potter. They don't know these kind of legalese terms about custody, and maybe they have done research, maybe not. So the best thing to do is to spell out who's going to make these decisions. And I might be in the minority on this, but I take the approach that if both parents are good--good is subjective--but just stable parents who really do their best to put their kids interests at heart, then I think a joint custodial framework might be best for them. And I do have a couple examples that I'm willing to share with everyone here about how you can kind of capture that because, as you mentioned, Steve, we see these kind of parenting plans. It says, for instance, mother is the sole custodial parent, but what the heck does that mean? Or if it's a joint custody, what does that mean in practice when you butt heads? How are these kinds of barriers going to be resolved?

Steve Altishin  8:56  
So yeah, you want to give us an example?

Zach Santos  9:01  
Yeah, yeah, so one that I've found that has worked and I've actually, off the record, had a couple of judges pull me aside and then just rain down praise about how we're able to figure these things out because sometimes it is good for both parents to have what I call a seat at the table. And how that can happen is you start with the framework of joint custody; both parents get have to, the term is 'confer and consult', so they have to confer and consult with each other about major decisions for the children. And then if they if there's a dispute over what should happen, like mom says X or dad says Y, well then you can build in these things called tiebreakers. So remember what I mentioned but the three buckets, nonemergency health care, education, religion? Well maybe for instance, mother can have final say over non emergency health care, after conferring in good faith that they can't come to a resolution. And maybe Dad has final say over education, and maybe his home is one that's zoned for school districts and purposes. Maybe they equally share religion and religious indoctrination. Or maybe it's not even that important to them. So that's one way to do it. You can even take it a step further and split up something like non-emergency healthcare. So there's like primary care, like the physical care for the child, but then there might be a mental health care concept, or prescriptions that are specifically to address mental health diagnoses. Maybe Dad has final say over mental health care, a mom has final say over physical care. And maybe if they don't agree on educational decisions, maybe they go to someone who's trusted within the family, someone who might be a teacher or administrator or the principle of the school, you can get very creative with these kinds of things. Or a tiebreaker could be that if you don't agree on health care, you go to the the child's primary care provider and they weigh in, or the mental health care provider. Yeah, you can get very creative.

Steve Altishin  11:08  
I have talked with many mental health providers who wish that clause would be in. Who absolutely wish that clause would be in. And it gets the right person making the decision, and you're not having to go to court all the time. So that's just a great example of why having something like that in your parenting time, or your parenting plan, is necessary. So you use the term parenting time, which I just said, let's talk about that. I know you like to also be pretty specific about parenting time, because again, that's where a lot of the fight comes in.

Zach Santos  11:46  
Right, right. If you're going to get general, and I'll give a quick example about how you can go general but still get specific where it needs to be. One way to be generalized is when both parents, for instance, are going to agree to have equal parenting time but they don't maybe want that fluctuating schedule, maybe one is a nurse, maybe the kids are all over the place with sports or something. So maybe they'll have equal parenting time and informally figure out how that looks. But if they don't, if they can't come to a resolution, then there'll be distinct like a default plan every every other week. Parenting time maybe 6pm to 6pm or from school drop off to school drop off on Fridays they start. Fridays I've found tend to be a very good days, and you start your parenting time over the weekend. So that's an example where you can do it for general time, but the concept is to be as specific as possible. You don't want to go so specific that you're kind of getting a little too engrossed into the day to day decisions of the other parents, such as they've gotta have steak and eggs for breakfast everyday-- you can't get that specific, but you definitely want to delineate when next changes will be, and when the regular time will be, which we call it 'regular time': holiday time, summertime. You want to state, when the summer schedule starts, who gets certain blocks of time, who's going to have certain-- what are the days and the exchange times in the holidays? You want to get as specific as possible so you don't have to leave it up to a court or don't have to leave that to a mediator. You have enough headaches on your mind, you don't need to invite more by being lackadaisical over something so important.

Steve Altishin  13:28  
Yeah, and like you said, holidays, again, when it just, you know, husband gets every other Halloween, can be an issue because certain holidays have certain kinds of events that happen with them that you know, you need to kind of note. And I saw, when I was looking at one of your plans, that you do that, you break down all the holidays.

Zach Santos  13:55  
Right, yeah. And what you're referencing is I've, over the years, I've developed a pretty good template parenting plan, it's about nine pages long. I mean, everyone's families are unique and everything needs to be narrowly tailored to what's going on. But a good general framework that I work off of is this one particular template plan and yeah, it lists just about every holiday, Independence Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Easter Halloween, you name it. What gets tricky is when you have to incorporate in the more kind of fluctuating dates such as there are certain Jewish holidays, Hanukkah and some others. So yeah, if you can, if you can address all that in there and typically with holidays, it's one parent has even years of like let's say for over Christmas break, from when school gets out until the day after Christmas, and then the other parent has them after Christmas until school starts. And then next year it switches, and ame thing for Thanksgiving. Same thing for spring break. One parent has spring break then the othe rparent has spring break. It's to promote fairness and equity to ensure that both parents have these kinds of intimate times because that's where families are developed and values are developed. But it is nice to have these intimate times to take off and go on vacation with your kids.

What happens if a holiday falls on the other person's, let's say, weekend?

Right. So that's a very good question. So you start, remember I mentioned at the start, you start with the residential schedule? And let's say it's week on week off, right? Well, after that, there's like this system of trumping, it's like in sports cards or trading, playing cards, you know, like, something Trump's the other. So with with this directly, if a holiday like, let's say, Fourth of July weekend that we just had, that falls on dad's regular time. Well, if mom has a Fourth of July weekend this year, that trumps the residential schedule, so dad won't have week time that weekend, and he's not entitled to make up time. This is just how it goes, holiday time trump's regular time. And depending on the schedule, with my schedule, holiday time trump's summertime, summertime schedules. And we can transition to that after this if you'd like. But yes, it must be clear because if a parent was like, well, this is my weekend, well, this is my fourth of July. No, it's holidays, and this is how judges will interpret it. It's not just best way to approach it.

Steve Altishin  16:34  
Again, being specific, everybody knows and everybody can schedule. I mean, it's great. Can a plan for parenting time change as the kids get older? Is that something you try to build into a parenting plan?

Zach Santos  16:54  
Yeah, yeah, I certainly do. And that's where things can kind of get tricky. And you want to ensure that you have an experienced attorney that can help walk you through it, if you do go through the attorney route. And if you don't have an attorney route, just do your very best and understand that, well, hopefully the other parent, maybe you're not best friends, but you understand that you are on the same side, that you are co-parents seeking the best interests of your child. So you can do your best to anticipate and address these issues as they arise. But yeah, with my plan, sometimes I call them phases. With one phase is like, let's say you have an infant child, and then separate households. Infants, just about all the time, unless there's a serious issue with the mother, infants will go with the mother because they need the nutrients and breastfeeding. There's so much that goes into it. Infants need to be with the primary caregivers and with no overnights for the other parent. And there's, I don't profess to be a scientist, but there's a good amount of research out there that shows that the kids, babies until 12-18 or so months, they don't really know what time is. They just know abandonment if the primary caregiver is gone, so you kind of build in that phase where mom has the vast majority of time, but dad has blocks of time so that he has consistent exposure, the child knows his face and the child knows him. And then once you get to the second phase, which is about 18 or so months, then dad has maybe two or three overnights. You kind of ease into it, and this is assuming that both parents are great parents, there's no safety concerns, which we'll later address. But if both parents are just totally fine, then most courts will eventually order equal parenting time. So then we'll ramp up to the second phase two, which will be kind of a couple overnights every week. And then phase three will be maybe closer to when they're in grade school. When they're in grade school, you want stability. You don't want a ton of exchanges back and forth because they're trying to do their homework. They're trying to hang out with friends. They're trying to do sports. Week on, week off is typically pretty good. Maybe in the weeks where the parent doesn't have the kid, maybe they have an evening dinner so they don't have to go a whole week without seeing their son or daughter or etc. So, yeah.

Steve Altishin  19:21  
Well, that's tremendous. And those are in the parenting plan? Or is this something that they're having to figure out on the fly when it happens? 

Zach Santos  19:30  
I mean, most of the plans that I see that come to me, if I'm seeking to modify a plan, they have not anticipated these kinds of things. Right. But yes, with my plans they do. And it's something that is interesting that I try to do when kids are starting to get closer to teen years, when they're a little bit more privy to what they want and which parent that they feel most comfortable with. And then maybe they'll have some say into, Hey, maybe I want to spend a little bit more time with dad this week, or maybe I want to spend a little more time with mom. So that maybe there'll be language about both parents will, when they get to a certain age, both parents will consider the wants, and suggestions of the kids. It's something that must be very clear and no judge will ever order this specific thing, which is that kids cannot dictate parenting plans. A judge will never allow that, parents should never allow that. Kids, when you feel they're good and ready, can weigh in when they're mature, but the kids don't run the show, the parents run the show. But it's best to kind of incorporate what the kids want.

Steve Altishin  20:44  
Yeah. Another hting I saw on your plan is pretty detailed information on sharing information with each other. Because again, that's one that sometimes, maybe a few years past the divorce, starts to come up. How do you put that in your parenting plan? And why is that important?

Zach Santos  21:07  
Right. So that's one of the most important concepts to understand, which is that ORS 107.154 and ORS 107.164 mandate that parents need to share these kinds of information documents back and forth, just because let's say the custodial parent, and there's no co-joint in this arrangement. If you're a solo parent, that doesn't mean that only you can look at these documents, and only you can talk to their providers now. Even the non-custodial parent has a right to all governmental documents for the kids, their educational records, to speak with their medical providers, obtain the records. And even to apply to be a guardian ad litem, something like this. Both parents have these rights. And they need to be able to exchange legal documents for the kids, like their passports, or social security documents, discuss any kind of emergency situations that may arise, that's absolutely imperative. You need to talk about the issues that may arise with kids health. What's going on with their home residents, like let's say a parent moves to a different apartment or something, you need to know where the kids living, and what's going on with their educational records. There just needs to be this backend flow and you can't just say well, they can go off and get it. Well, sort of, but no, they're entitled to these kinds of rights. And again, refer to ORS 107.154 and ORS 107.164 for further detail. Yeah, but I build these out for my clients so that they don't have to go do that research, it's right there for them. 

Steve Altishin  22:42  
Right, exactly. It's, you know, a lot of times they say, the devils in the details, and really, the details, if you don't have them down, can cause more problems than the the big ticket stuff. But you did talk about moving, and it made me think about, what if a parent is going to move out of state or you know, from Medford to Portland, is there anything about that in a parenting plan? 

Zach Santos  23:14  
Yeah. So typically, what the bare minimum that you need to put in is, is just capturing another rule. It's ORS 107.159 and ORS 107.164. I just say this now in case people want to go refer to that later, that if they're going to move more than 60 miles radius from the other parent, they need to provide both the court and the other parent written notice at least 45 days in advance of their intent to do so and provide updated contact information and residence information. But that doesn't mean that they could say let's keep going back to this week on week off schedule, that doesn't mean that just because you're moving, you can withhold the child from the other parent. You still needed facilitate all that other child's parenting time. But if you're going to move to somewhere like, let's say California or Washington, it's gonna be very hard to do this. So that's when you need to go back to the court and try to mediation, I prefer to keep things out of court and file a motion to modify the judgment if needed. And then ask for a different parenting plan. I do not encourage people to make an entire new schedule say hey, if I were to move to Idaho, this is what's happening. There's just too many variables there. But bare minimum there needs to be notice of the intent to move and do your best to try to work that out. If you go to court on the matter, it's gonna be expensive and it's hard to win. It's best to settle.

Steve Altishin  24:45  
Is there anything a parenting plan, or should there be, about, because again, this is an area that comes up, is how much a child can talk to the their non-custodial parent, or the parent they're not with, can they give them a call? And also communication between parents, just you know, can you, if a parent is you think like stalking you, I mean, are there things you can put in a parenting plan to talk about that kind of communication?

Zach Santos  25:14  
Yeah, I'll deal with child communication first. So courts, this is assuming no safety concerns, courts are going to want to ensure that parents aren't ostracized from the other parents. So even if a child is with one parent, during their set time, the default is generally that the other parent can reach out to the child and contact them. Whether if they have a phone, call their phone, text their phone, or contact the other parent and ask them to share their phone. The contact should be at reasonable times. They can't just pepper them with calls and take up the parents entire time, everything needs to be reasonable, you always need to approach these things with reasonability. But yes, unless you agree, otherwise, you're gonna be able to talk to your child. The bigger issue is communication with that other parent, because sometimes there has been some serious emotional abuse, we see that pretty frequently, and sometimes physical abuse, which is very hard. But if there's no restraining order, there needs to be some kind of communication about exchanges and maybe changes to the parenting time, if there's an issue that comes up or unavoidable delays, something like that. So you build in language about they can only only talk about issues related to the kids, only emergencies related to the kids. Only the kids, and if it ever deviates, then that's cause for something like filing for contempt, filing a specific motion and a separate court case and holding them in contempt. And that can affect parenting time and custody if a parent is just you know, a screw you, and violating the parenting time and parenting plan, I'm going to talk to you however way I want regardless of this court order. Now that's not how it works.

Steve Altishin  26:58  
Right. And that kind of creeps into involvement in the kids activities, daycare, even kind of how the children what they need to do for exchanges, that whole kind of situation. You have stuff for that in your parenting plan too, don't you?

Zach Santos  27:27  
Yes, yes, I do. I have language about you can't intentionally schedule activities for the kids, or you with the kids, during the other parents parenting time without their permission. So like, let's say they have regular baseball practice, and you want to sign them up for Little League. So you can you can sign up for a little league, but you need to get the other parents permission because that parent might lose time with the kids and you can't just unilaterally determine what's gonna happen when the kids. Even if you're the custodial parent, you can't take up the other other parents parenting time without their permission. So I include language about that, I include language about who's going to look after the child and the child care. So like something that's happening there is that most parents don't feel the most comfortable when the babysitters are under the age of something around 15 or so. So that there won't be babysitters any younger than that, and whenever there is a babysitter, he'll provide the other parent their contact information name. So just to ensure that everyone's on the same page about who's looking after their child because both parents deserve to know who's looking for their child. I include language about extracurricular activities, which we kind of lightly touched on, but expenses, expense sharing. So if both parents want to agree that, let's say karate, that it's best for to do it and enroll them in karate. If they both agree that that's fine to enroll them in, then they both equally share their responsibilities, but if only one parent wants them to put them in tennis and the other parent is like no, I want to put him in ballet or something. Well, one parent can put them in tennis, one parents can put them in ballet, but the parent that enrolls them in tennis covers all his expenses, and the parent who enrolls them in ballet covers all those expenses, if only one parent wants to do it. That's written into the plan to ensure that that there's no surprises and no kind of jerk moves.

Steve Altishin  29:19  
Yeah and to let people know, if I'm going to do this then I'm going to pay for it. You know, if we decide we're both going to pay and it just creates so much less friction down the road. But can you do something about, in a parenting plan, ensuring safety in, and I know obviously physical abuse, that's almost another issue, but you know, what about things like firearms or even the disciplinary practices and, you know, druggies who come visit?

Zach Santos  30:02  
Right, yeah. I'll do my best to be efficient on these things. But yeah, this is something that like, I can maybe touch on in other Facebook Lives, just to kind of gloss over some of these things. Corporal punishment is something it's kind of an iffy topic, especially nowadays. So I usually include language that it's fine as long as both parents agree, both parents need to agree in writing that that's fine. I include language about firearms, and it's fine to safely and responsibly have firearms in your home, but that during your parenting time, they need to be securely stored in a way and absolutely no way for the kids to access them, we do not want a tragedy in our hands. And there needs to be very specific language about that. Sometimes one parent or both have alcohol dependency issues. So I included language, it's pretty strict language. But, you know, sometimes you got to do what you got to do to protect the kids to ensure that maybe your demons don't come back up. So I included language, depending on circumstances, but language that says no parent can drink or at least one parent can drink during their parenting time with the child. It's just point blank, you can't have a blood alcohol level over the legal limit, because like it's hard to judge that. So it's just no, can't drink. And you're always going to be stable. You can take your medications, if they're prescribed by a doctor and used as directed, include language about that. Include language about if anyone who's going to drive the children needs to be properly licensed, and vehicle needs to be insured. Like these are all the kinds of things that just needs to be anticipated. Just quick note on abuse, I've included a paragraph of language about if a child is exposed to any form of physical abuse, whether it's taking it or visually seeing slapping, hitting, or something like that, then you can file a request for a hearing specifically based off of that provision. So you don't have to file contempt, which can take a month or more. You just file a request for a hearing based off of this role. You ask the judge to, well, first of all, you file the request for the hearing and schedule the hearing. And then you ask the court and say Hey, this is what I know about this situation, they were exposed to this. Or hey, I know that this person was drinking, they agreed not to drink or something like this. And then you say, Your Honor, this is my evidence, please make your request, please suspend his parenting and please make it supervised parenting time. Something that the courts in Oregon have a wide swath of authority to do what they want, and what they believe is in the best interests of the child to promote equity.

Steve Altishin  32:45  
Wow. Again, time flies and we are running out of time, we definitely would love to do this again and talk about maybe even just some of these specific issues and issues on you know, resolving disputes, amending the plans. I mean, you talked about them and how you can do them. But again, I'd like to kind of just talk about this before we go: every parenting plan is going to be different, because everybody's situation is different.

Zach Santos  33:15  
Absolutely. And that's absolutely imperative, there's no cookie cutter resolution like even the template plan that I mentioned before. It's just something that I've developed in taking pieces from different, very specific cases throughout my life and you're just trying to anticipate issues. That's what you're trying to do, your best. You can't cover everything but you take your plan and you you tailor it to what's going on with your specific needs, with what's going on with your child or children, what's going on with you, what's going on with the the other partner Consider safety concerns that you want to build into the plan and I want to reiterate one more time, write down ORS 107.102. Make sure your plans contemplate, at a bare minimum, what's listed in subsection three and subsection four. What they list out is much like what we discussed, residential schedule, holidays, relocation, parents telephone access, these kind of important things make it's almost like a checklist, and bare minimum, you need to have these in your plans.

Steve Altishin  34:14  
And for any particular situation that we haven't even talked about that's unique, you can make a provision for that which would cover it in a parenting plan. 

Zach Santos  34:24  
Yeah, that's the beauty of settlement. You can get creative and you go to trial if you need to. If both parents can't figure things out between themselves, you need to put it before a judge, and fortunately where I live in Deschutes county, judges are fabulous and most judges throughout Oregon are very good. So you can put it before them, but you're putting the fate of something so precious in the hands of someone who knows nothing about you. So sometimes it's best to to get creative and find resolutions and settlement if you truly believe it's in the best interest of your kids.

Steve Altishin  35:02  
Yeah, and parenting plans actually help judges to know more about you the more detailed they are. Yeah. So well, we are out of time. That's unfortunate. So Zach, again, bringing your depth of knowledge and really matter of fact, clearness to talking about this. You made really complex legal and situational issues feel understandable. So thank you for joining us today.

Zach Santos  35:34  
Absolutely. This is a topic that's very near and dear to my heart. So I love to work with people who are watching, if they need help in the future, feel free to reach out, retain me, and we can do our best to work for you moving forward.

Steve Altishin  35:47  
Exactly. And thank you, everyone for joining us today. As Zach said, anyone can post a question, we can get you in touch with Zach. And if you need to work with him, he can work with you. So for now, as I always say, until next time, stay safe, stay happy and be well.

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