A “Parenting Plan” is a written plan that lays out the details of the children's lives after a couple separates. Bringing a Parenting Plan to court and making it into an order is a good idea, even if both parents agree to the terms of the plan.
What is included in a parenting plan?
While there is no official list of what must be in a Parenting Plan, the most common issues included in a parenting plan are:
- Contact Information – Mailing full address and phone number where each parent can be reached by the other, as well as the address at which the children will be housed with each parent.
- Visitation Schedule – the amount of parenting time allotted to each parent, and a schedule of that time
- Holiday and School Break Schedule – which holidays and school breaks each parent will have with the children
- Out of State Travel – whether out of state travel is allowed without permission from the court, and the details of how it will be handled
- Transportation – which parent will be responsible for transporting the children between parental exchanges
- Health Insurance and Healthcare Expenses – which parent is responsible for providing health insurance, and how healthcare not covered by insurance will be paid for
- Notification of Parental Move – how each parent must be notified if the other parents moves to a new home
- Education – which parent will make important decisions regarding education, religious upbringing, daycare, extracurricular activities, and other issues
- Payment for Extracurricular Activities – how the parents will pay for the children's activities outside of school.
- Tax Deductions – which parent will claim the children as dependents on their taxes