9.7Susan M. Hais

What is a Parenting Plan?

The purpose of a parenting plan is to outline common parental concerns that may arise during the co-parenting relationship. Considered the governing document, the parenting plan is included in all divorce proceedings or shared parenting cases in family law. Co-parents are strongly advised to follow the parenting plan to the best of their ability while always maintaining the child’s best interests.

How Can I Make a Parenting Plan? 

Sometimes, parenting plans are created by both parents privy to the plan. Co-parents discuss every detail that concerns their personal family law case and agree upon the best plan for their child or children at the present time. This can take place in a personal setting or through a court-ordered process called mediation. Regardless of the avenue, you choose a knowledgeable family law attorney can help you create a parenting plan that helps protect both you and your child.

What is Included in a Parenting Plan?

Common issues addressed in a parenting plan include:

  • Who the custodial parent and non-custodial parent are.
  • A visitation schedule that includes holidays, school breaks, birthdays, family vacations, etc.
  • Decision-making responsibilities
  • Child support guidelines, including miscellaneous expenses
  • Healthcare concerns
  • Communication requirements between the custodial and non-custodial parent
  • How changes can be made to the parenting plan
  • Other personalized information unique to your family

What if We Can’t Agree to a Parenting Plan? 

While every effort should be made by co-parents to agree on a parenting plan, the law understands this is not always possible. Your family law judge will create a shared parenting plan based on the individual circumstances of your case. That parenting plan, unless modified through the courts, dictates both parents responsibilities to their child(ren) and any other requirements.

Creating a parenting plan can be a very stressful and emotional time in the lives of families affected by separation. Let our office guide you through every step of the process to make it as pain-free as possible. Contact us today to discuss creating a parenting plan that works and protects your most precious assets.