Parenting Plan

Parenting Plan

The parenting plan is a document that divides custody, visitation, and decision making between the parents. This post will go over the more common items that are included in a Tennessee Parenting plan.

One of the main items in the parenting plan is the residential schedule. The residential schedule defines who the children will reside with during the school year, vacations, holidays, special occasions, and any limitations when visiting with a parent. The plan can award holidays such as Thanksgiving to the father every even year and to the mother every odd year. The parents can even agree that some holidays will be given to one parent every year. Usually a plan will define what time a holiday begins and what time it ends. It is important to have a detailed plan to prevent problems with interpretation later.

The next step in a plan is to assign decision making between the parents. Major decisions such as education or religious upbringing can be assigned to one parent or jointly. Day to day decision making is usually given to the parent that the child is residing with at the time the decision needs to be made. If certain decisions are especially important to a parent, this is the time to make that known and reach an agreement.

The next major item in a parenting plan is child support. This area states which parent will pay child support and in what amount. Child support is calculated using the state guidelines which is based on the income shares model. This section will also explain which parent is responsible for maintaining health insurance on the child. If a parent is required to have life insurance during the child’s minority, it will also be listed here.

A provision for dispute resolution is generally included in a parenting plan. Many plans provide for disputes between the parties to go through mediation before going back to court. This provision should also state who is responsible for costs of mediation or arbitration.