While many dread the idea of a court dictating the time at which you may have custody of your child, these decisions are made with a kid’s best interests at heart. That said, it could prove exceptionally beneficial to have an attorney at your side. Legal professionals could gather evidence that supports your plan of action.
A parenting plan is a visitation and custody schedule that outlines the day-to-day timetable for each parent to care for the child. Common parenting schedules are every-other-weekend from Thursday to Monday or 50-50 schedules.
Parenting plan also establishes holiday visitation, which courts in Chattanooga commonly split between the parents. These plans establish child support based on each parent’s income, the parenting schedule, which parent pays for the child’s insurance or daycare, and whether or not either parent has other children living in their home or has child support obligations to any other children.
The parental bill of rights outlined in TCA 36-6-101 is provided in each parenting plan to ensure that both parents know what they are entitled to. A comprehensive parenting plan will also address how any future disputes will be settled or how the plan to be changed. Most commonly in Chattanooga, parenting plans will mandate that the parents attend mediation to resolve any differences or discuss any proposed changes to the plan.
Parenting plans give parents a baseline schedule with their child moving forward; however, there is nothing prohibiting them from agreeing that one parent will have additional time with the child in the event that, for example, the other parent must travel for work. The parties can divide their time with child however they see fit and without interference from the court provided that their parenting time is mutually agreed upon.
A parenting plan establishes a mandatory schedule for parties who cannot agree otherwise. If the parties dispute their time with the child, they can refer to their parenting plan, which is the court’s order that they must operate under if they are unable to amicably parent the child.
A typical Chattanooga parenting plan can outline a day-to-day schedule from Sunday to Sunday each week for who is keeping the child and for what periods of time, as well as establish a holiday schedule, which will likely be evenly split. Most commonly, parties in Chattanooga rotate parenting time on holidays. If a parent has the child on Thanksgiving or Christmas one year, that child will likely be with the other parent the next year. Mothers can expect to have parenting time with the child every Mother’s Day, and fathers can expect to spend every Father’s Day with the child. Each parent may also be granted time with the child on their own birthday, but that schedule more often rotates.
A parenting plan will also have child support and transportation established so that parents do not have to negotiate the location or time to exchange the child.
If the parents’ child custody hearing is before the circuit court in the context of their divorce, they will be required to file a proposed parenting plan as part of their initial divorce filing. The proposed parenting plan can be modified, but it must be present from the outset of the case.
In the case of a juvenile court custody case for an unmarried couple, there is no requirement for a parenting plan to be submitted; however, an attorney may recommend that a proposed plan be presented to the court to give the court an idea of what that parent desires for their child.
While a divorce is cause for contention for anyone, you still may find that Chattanooga parenting plans could alleviate some of your uncertainties. These plans offer a contract between you and your former significant other to care for your child or children on a schedule that is in the best interests of your kid. To ensure that your child’s needs are met with this plan, reach out to a dedicated attorney today.