What does an effective parenting plan look like?

During divorce proceedings, you and your spouse will need to complete a parenting plan for your minor children.

With careful consideration, you should decide how to manage their lives with as little disruption as possible, and the court will determine if it protects the children’s physical and emotional needs.

What does the court look for in a parenting plan?

Some elements the court looks for when evaluating a parenting plan include:

  • Legal misconduct from either parent
  • The child’s age
  • Proximity to the child’s school, extended family, and any religious organizations
  • What the parents and the child prefer for a custody arrangement
  • The physical and mental health status of each parent and whether they can provide for the child

Keep in mind that the court’s primary concern is what is in the child’s best interests.

What should you include in your parenting plan?

The court expects a thorough parenting plan to include living arrangements and schedules for holidays and other events, such as vacations, school breaks, graduation, summer vacation, and birthdays. You should also discuss any changes to health or dental insurance coverage or mention if it will remain the same.

How will you handle extra-curricular activities, such as sports games and practices? Will you have religious instruction in both households? Will it be the same? You should also discuss how you both intend to communicate as you co-parent.

Ideally, both spouses would come to an agreement on a parenting plan. However, if you do not both agree, you can submit separate plans for consideration.


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