If you have minor children, you will need to make important decisions about their parenting. This is done by developing a “Parenting Plan” during the divorce process.
Tennessee courts encourage parents to come to their own agreements on all aspects of the Parenting Plan, through disagreements can easily arise in many parts of it.
These plans, always required by the court, have many categories covering all aspects of parenting. For instance:
- RESIDENTIAL TIME WITH EACH PARENT
- DAY-TO-DAY SCHEDULE
- HOLIDAY SCHEDULE AND OTHER SCHOOL FREE DAYS
- FALL VACATION (If applicable)
- WINTER (CHRISTMAS) VACATION
- SPRING VACATION (If applicable)
- SUMMER VACATION
- TRANSPORTATION ARRANGEMENTS
- SUPERVISION OF PARENTING TIME (If applicable)
In addition, there is a section on how ongoing “Decision Making” will be handled, covering both ordinary day-to-day decisions and major decisions, such as, medical care, emergency medical care and other emergency decisions, religious upbringing, and what extra curricular activities children participate in. Parents are able to add other categories to the Parent Plan, depending on their families’ needs.
Other parts of the Parenting Plan cover child support payments, residential time with the children, medical and dental insurance (for the children), life insurance (on the parents) and childcare expenses.
The Parenting Plan becomes a central part of any divorce. If settled out-of-court the parents can play the determining role in all details of the Parenting Plan. If the case goes to trial, however, then a judge, who does not know much about you and your children’s needs, will make the decisions.