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What does a parenting plan do?

Fewer court actions become more volatile than divorce. When you add the emotional element of dividing time with children, the situation may cause a larger rift between spouses.

A vital document in a divorce with children is the parenting plan. It acts as a guide on how you and your ex will continue to parent your children for years to come. Understanding a bit more about what goes into this document may help you reach a compromise in getting it drafted.

What is the schedule?

Since your children will now spend time between two separate homes, they need to know when. The parenting plan acts as a master schedule, setting out where your children will reside at any time of the year, including holidays, vacations and special occasions. A judge wants to see how, when and where you and your ex will exchange children.

What is the address for school zoning?

You and your spouse may share legal custody of your children. This grants you both the equal authority to make legal decisions on behalf of your children, such as those affecting medical care, religious upbringing and educational choices. Even so, one parent’s address acts as the primary residence for school zoning. This label does not give that parent more rights to the children.

What agreements other have you made?

The parenting plan should also include any other decisions you and your ex agree upon regarding how to handle your children. These may include:

  • Extracurricular activities
  • Phone visitation times
  • Bedtimes
  • Schedule change agreements

It is important to note that a parenting plan should change as your children age. What works for a toddler does not apply to a teen. Thus, the less contentious your post-divorce relationship with your ex becomes, the easier it may become to reach agreements outside of court.


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