Randall Kessler on Parenting Plan/Scheduling
- What is a parenting plan?
- How does a parenting plan/schedule work?
- What should I include in the parenting plan?
- What if my spouse and I cannot agree on a parenting plan?
What is a parenting plan?
A parenting plan, also sometimes known as a parenting schedule, is a proposal submitted to the court by each parent that outlines which days each parent will have with his/her child. In all cases in which the custody of any child is at issue between the parents, each parent will prepare a parenting plan or the parties may jointly submit a parenting plan. It will then be up to the judge to decide where the child goes and for how long. The final decree in any legal action involving the custody of a child, must include a parenting plan.
How does a parenting plan/schedule work?
There are many ways to arrange a child visitation schedule. If one parent has primary physical custody, the other parent may get the child every other weekend, every other holiday, and a few weeks during the summer.
What should I include in the parenting plan?
In your parenting plan you should include: (a) a clause where you show that you want to maintain and enhance a close and continuing parent-child relationship in the child's life and that this plan will be in the child's best interest; (b) a recognition that the plan can be modified as the child becomes older; (c) that the parent with physical custody will make day-to-day decisions for the child; (d) that both parents will have access to all of the child's records and information; (e) the days and times when a child will be in each parent's physical care; (f) how holidays, birthdays, vacations, school breaks, and other special occasions will be spent; (g) transportation arrangements; (h) whether supervision will be needed for any parenting time; (i) what education and religious upbringing the child will have; (j) and what, if any, limitations will exist while one parent has physical custody of the child in terms of the other parent contacting the child.
What if my spouse and I cannot agree on a parenting plan?
If you and your spouse cannot reach agreement on a permanent parenting plan, then each of you should file and serve a proposed parenting plan on or before the date set by the judge. It will then be up to the judge to decide which plan is in the best interests of the child.