How Divorcing Parents Should Prepare a Parenting Plan

9 June 2022
 Categories: Law, Blog


If you have minor children and are about to get a divorce, you will need to address a parenting plan. If you are unfamiliar with this term, a parenting plan is the compilation of various provisions concerning children all tucked into a single document. Read on to learn more.

Create Your Own Plan

While parents can leave certain things up to the judge, it's not recommended. It's better if you and your spouse sit down and make a plan that is unique and appropriate for your family. If you don't agree on some (or all) of the provisions of a parenting plan, you might have a few options to try before taking things before the judge. Mediation might help resolve some issues in a non-confrontational manner. However, a child study may be ordered by the judge so that they can learn more about what is best for the child if the parents still cannot agree on things.

What Should a Parenting Plan Contain?

While parents are always free to provide more than the ordered amount of child support to a minor child, they must provide at least the ordered amount. This issue is determined using the parent's income and other factors. While child support is part of the parenting plan, it is decided by state law and ordered by the judge.


Child custody must be determined, and parents have several choices. Many parents create their own plans. If it's fair to both parents and serves the best interests of the child, the judge will likely approve it. Two basic plans for custody are popular. The shared custody plan involves both parents sharing custody 50/50 (approximately). The child is to reside about 50-percent of their free time at each parent's residence. The other often used plan involves one parent being made the sole physical custodian of the child with the other parent having visitation with the child.


If the couple uses the sole custody plan, the other parent needs a visitation schedule. Take into consideration work schedules, holidays, birthdays, vacations, and other real-life issues before making a plan.

In some states, the parties are required to add other provisions to the plan. Issues like healthcare insurance coverage, special needs plans, and more may be required. Some states make sure that the parties decide how far away a spouse may move with a custodial child. To learn more about parenting plans, speak to a divorce attorney