What Is a Parenting Plan in a Custody Case?

parenting plan for child

When your child spends time in two households, there needs to be a complete parenting plan in place that can reduce confusion and ensure that the child’s best interests are always being watched out for. A Tazewell County child custody lawyer can help you develop a parenting plan that can reduce conflict between you and your spouse while preventing any of your child’s needs from falling through the cracks.

Is a Parenting Plan the Same as Custody?

A parenting plan is not exactly the same as a custody agreement. Physical custody determines who the child is spending most of their time with. If both parents are awarded legal custody, then this means that they can make decisions about important matters facing their child.

So you may be the parent that gets their child once a week and every other weekend, but you could still have legal custody. This means that you and your spouse must have a way to deal with the big choices that can face any parents. This is where a parenting plan comes into play.

What Needs to Be in a Parenting Plan?

At the very least, a parenting plan needs to cover four major areas. It should address:

  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Religion
  • Extracurricular activities

If your plan does not account for these things, you are likely to run into a lot of conflicts. Having a written document can reduce the chance that you’ll fight over healthcare decisions, like whether or not to get your child certain vaccinations. Your plan can address what kinds of schools your child goes to and who will handle college costs as well.

It’s also important to address extracurricular activities because they can cost a lot of time and money. What happens if one parent objects to a sport because they think that it’s too dangerous? What if games or events occur during the noncustodial parent’s visitation time? Having a plan in place for what to do in these situations can make them a lot less stressful to deal with when they do come up. It’s also a good idea to talk about how you will get together to make any changes to your parenting plan in the future.

What Should I Do If My Spouse and I Struggle to Communicate?

Unfortunately, some people struggle to work with each other once they have been divorced. If you cannot work together and agree on a plan, it may be necessary to try mediation or working with a lawyer. We can help you figure out how to communicate with each other and make sure that your parenting plan keeps the best interests of your children in mind.

Contact Our Law Firm

If you are in a custody battle or working on a parenting plan after one is settled, our experienced family lawyers can help. Contact Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C. and schedule a consultation with our team today.

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