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What Essential Terms Need to Be In My Parenting Plan?

When planning for your child’s life after your divorce, you may want everything written down. Having a complete parenting plan can help limit conflict between you and your ex as it can be used as a reference for future conflicts. Our child custody attorneys at KF Law, LLC share what you should include in your parenting plan.

Time-Sharing Schedule

One of the first things you should consider when building your parenting plan is your time-sharing schedule. Talk to your child’s other parent to discuss your personal schedules and what you believe would be the best time-sharing schedule for your children.

Your time-sharing schedule can be as flexible as you wish and does not need to reflect the traditional week-on, week-off schedule, but should be written down for your parenting plan. Some examples of time-sharing schedules include the 4-3 schedule of weekdays with one parent and a long weekend with the other, the every weekend schedule, and the 2-2-5-5 schedule, where the children spend intervals of two days with each parent and then five days with each parent.

Your time-sharing schedule should also include how custody will be shared for school holidays and breaks, religious holidays, birthdays, and other important days. For each date and exchange included on your time-sharing schedule, you should also include specific times that parents can follow regarding the exchange of children. Having a clear and concise time-sharing schedule can help limit future conflicts between parents.

The time-sharing schedule should also include how the child will move from parent to parent and any transportation needs the children may have.

Legal Custody

Your parenting plan should also include how both parents wish to divide legal custody of the children. This section of your parenting plan should include who will make day-to-day decisions and how decision-making will be done between the parents. Included in this section should also be:

  • How parents will make major decisions
  • How parents will determine what religion to raise their children
  • How parents will determine educational decisions
  • How parents will resolve issues in which they cannot agree

Plans for Modification

As your children grow older, their parenting plan terms may no longer apply or may need to be adjusted to better reflect their schedules and needs. Your child may also move to a new school as they enter middle or high school, which may require a modification as your child’s schedule will change. The parenting plan should reflect that you understand your child’s needs will change, and you plan to make modifications to make these changes when necessary.

At the age of 11, your child can express a preference for custody to the court. At the age of 14, the child may make the decision on which parent they wish to live with. If this decision does not reflect your current custody agreement in your parenting plan, you may need to make a modification. We recommend planning to request modifications around the ages of 11 and 14, when your children enter middle and high school, as well as when they have more agency to express their preferences for custody.

Atlanta Child Custody Attorneys

The attorneys at KF Law, LLC are experienced in the creation of parenting plans and are prepared to help you create a parenting plan in your child’s best interests. We understand how complicated it may be to adequately write your child’s parenting plan and recommend you find a child custody attorney to write the plan with you.

Are you preparing to create your parenting plan and need some guidance? Call our Atlanta child custody attorneys at (678) 326-4611 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our team.