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What to Include in Parenting Plans


If you and your spouse are going through a divorce and determining how to divide child custody, you will want to know how to go about developing a parenting plan. These plans may also be referred to as a custody and visitation agreement and they will focus on two aspects:

  • How the parents will go about making decisions for the child in regards to education, health and welfare.
  • What the schedule for the child will be and when they will be with each parent.

A parenting plan will involve the cooperation of both parents as they work together. This can be an important time for them to learn how to go about making decisions regarding their child together since they will be doing this frequently in the future.

In the plan, both parents should be able to call the children, get information on them, look at their medical records, look at their school records and have the contact information of the other parent. The court wants a plan to be focused around what is in the best interests of the child, and if it is not harmful to the child, they want both parents to be involved in their lives.

When developing the plan, parents should take into account meeting the child's basic needs, giving them a consistent schedule that they can rely on, providing a sense of security, making the plan detailed and adjusting the plan to work for the child's personality and abilities.

A plan should also address physical custody and legal custody. For the physical custody it should cover where the children will be on the weekends and during the week, which parent is considered to be in charge during those times, how the children will be transported to each house, where they will spend holidays and breaks from school, etc. For the legal custody, the plan should go over how the parents will make decisions on school, religion, medical care and emergency treatment. For older children a plan should also address how decisions will be made regarding having a job or driving. For assistance in developing a parenting plan or in other aspects of your divorce, contact our Roseville divorce attorney.