What is a Parenting Plan?

A parenting plan is a written document that outlines custody and parenting time. It includes the access schedule with the child for each parent and assigns responsibility to each or both parents for making major decisions regarding the minor child. A parenting plan also articulates a method of resolving future disputes regarding the minor child.

The parenting plan is established by the parties and the terms are not decided by a judge. This allows the parents to have more control and to create a plan that works best for them. A parenting plan is a binding legal document and the court may find that the proposed plan is not in the best interests of the child.

The parenting plan allows parties to meet the individual needs of a specific family and create a plan that works and is in the best interests of the children involved. A parenting plan can be used by both divorcing and never-married parents. The plan will help schedule parenting time, vacation and holiday schedules.

Parties may also include detailed pick-up and drop-off instructions and a plan for how potential future disputes may be resolved in order to avoid future conflict. The parties may also include provisions for how and when the parenting plan may change.

If there is a history of domestic abuse, you will want to discuss your proposed parenting plan with an attorney to ensure the protection of all parties’ interests. For example, pick up and drop off locations may be at a designated, supervised location if one party fears for their safety or is not comfortable with a private location. It is also important to note that, in some cases involving abuse, a shared parenting plan may not be the best option.

A parenting plan may be right for you if there is some level of cooperation and understanding between you and the other parent. If there is no communication, a custody and parenting time order issued by the court may work better. Consult with an attorney to determine whether a parenting plan is best for your specific needs.

Crafting a comprehensive parenting plan is a challenge best faced with an experienced Minnesota divorce attorney. At Alithis Family Law, our lawyers pride themselves on how they serve our clients. Please reach out today for your free consultation—you can call our office at (952) 800-2025 or contact us by email at info@alithisfamilylaw.com.

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