When Tennessee parents divorce, one of their main concerns is the well-being and continued security of their children. In some cases, it may be possible to secure a reasonable, fair and workable child custody order without ever stepping foot inside a courtroom. If you want to keep your custody plan out of court, you need to know how to draft a strong parenting plan.

As you draft a parenting plan, you would be wise to think about how your choices will impact your children in the future and not allow temporary emotions to drive your decision-making. With careful consideration and a thoughtful approach, you can craft a plan that will benefit your family for years to come. 

What is in your custody plan?

Drafting a custody plan that works well for your family is not always easy. It takes careful consideration of the best interests of your children, along with what they may need in the years going forward. Many parents develop their plans through negotiations and discussions, which allows them to have more control over the terms of the final order. If you are considering what should be in your plan, you will need to include provisions for the following: 

  • Division of parenting time
  • Drop-off and pick-up procedures for visitation
  • Where will the child celebrate holidays and spend summer vacations
  • How parents will make major decisions for the child

These are all major issues that you should address as you negotiate the terms of your parenting plan and custody order. However, you can custom-tailor your plan to suit the needs of your kids. You can also factor in provisions that relate to special needs unique to your family, including:

  • Parents with non-traditional work schedules
  • Medical needs of the children
  • Grandparent visitation or access to extended family

When you are able to craft your plan according to your needs, you will likely end up with a plan that is sustainable for years to come.

The importance of shielding your rights

Even if you are working on a parenting plan in amicable and reasonable discussions with your child’s other parent, you will still find great benefit in taking steps to ensure the full protection of your legal rights. By seeking help from the very beginning of this process, you will have security knowing the interests of your children are secure, as well as your rights as an active and loving parent.