One of the most challenging parts of filing for divorce often involves figuring out how you and your spouse will parent your children after your marriage ends. In order to avoid the potentially divisive concepts of custody and visitation, the Tennessee judiciary has adopted the concept of a parenting plan. This agreement may help you and your ex-spouse work together effectively to raise your children in a loving and positive environment.
The Tennessee State Courts system indicates that you must file a parenting plan that describes how you and your ex-spouse will make essential decisions about your children’s education, health care and religion. If you and your ex-spouse are able to work together to create a plan that you both agree to, you may jointly submit it to the court. If you cannot agree on a plan, you may need to go through a mediation process to develop an agreement.
The Tennessee judiciary system describes a parenting plan as a tool to reduce conflict and reorganize your family successfully after a divorce. You do not need to use complex legal terms in your plan. Instead, the plan should use easy-to-understand language to describe how you and your ex-spouse will maintain relationships with your children and make essential decisions about their welfare.
The overall goal of a parenting plan should be to support your children’s best interests. Your document may describe your children’s daily schedules, detailing how they will spend residential time with you and your ex-spouse. You may also indicate how and where your children will spend certain holidays and school vacations. Other aspects of the agreement may involve health insurance, education decisions and extracurricular activities.