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What's required in a Tennessee parenting plan?

A parenting plan is a key component of any custody agreement. It provides a roadmap and reference to be used by couples as they co-parent their children after their marriage ends.

States have varying requirements regarding what needs to be included in a parenting plan. Experienced Tennessee family law attorneys can help ensure that you and your co-parent draft a plan that complies with our laws. Tennessee law requires a number of things to be included in a parenting plan.

Among the mandates are the following:

  • The decision-making authority of each parent must be outlined. This includes designating who will make the day-to-day decisions regarding a child's care and well-being as well as decisions regarding a child's education, medical care and religious training.
  • A visitation schedule must be included that encourages a stable, loving relationship with both parents.
  • A process for resolving disputes needs to be outlined. Parents should make every effort to comply with the parenting plan. If they can't, they should have a selected resolution process in place, such as going to court or engaging in mediation.
  • The plan should be written so that it takes into account as much as possible a child's changing needs as he or she grows. This will minimize the number of times the plan needs to be modified over the years and the extent of those modifications.

In addition to these and other required elements, parents can include further provisions based on the unique needs of their children and what will help minimize friction and confusion between them. Your attorney can help you as you work to do what's best for your children.

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