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Parenting Plan: Basic Elements

A parenting plan can be a formal legal document or an informal plan agreed to by both parents. It describes how the kids will spend time with each parent. If you already have a parenting plan, remember that you can change anything about the plan as long as both parents agree. If you don’t have a parenting plan, you and the other parent should discuss these basic issues. The basic elements of a parenting plan:

Determine when the kids will spend time with each parent on a normal basis.

List important vacation and holiday times (including school breaks and birthdays) and decide how to split that time.

Determine how you will make temporary and permanent changes to the parenting plan.

Determine who will make day-to-day decisions, and how you will discuss and make important decisions together.

Arrange for the financial and medical support of the kids (like how you will split costs of things like school supplies, hobbies and extracurricular activities).

Determine how the exchange of the kids will take place.

Decide what to do if you or the other parent moves to a new residence that is in another town or state.

Decide how you will resolve a future conflict to avoid going to court (counseling, mediation, etc).

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