What is a Tennessee Parenting Plan?

When a couple with children divorces in Tennessee, the court requires the parents to detail how the children will be cared for when the divorce is final. The plan must include how time will be divided. Plans also include where the children will live, and how holidays will be handled. The plan should include how major decisions will be made and how child support will be allocated. Parents have flexibility in crafting a plan that works best for them. However, it’s important to understand how a Tennessee court would rule if the parents can’t agree. If you’re considering divorce it is best to speak with a Tennessee family law attorney. An attorney will understand how parenting plans would best work for your family.

Parenting is a Shared Responsibility

Tennessee rejects the outdated concepts of “sole custody” and “visitation” in favor of parenting as a shared responsibility. There is usually a “primary residential parent,” but with shared decision making and “parenting time.” Tennessee courts require a “parenting plan” that specifies where the children will be during the week, on the weekend, on school vacations and for holidays. The court will also want to know how the children will go from place to place. Major holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas are usually divided with odd and even years, but some families prefer to split the day in half. The court does have a preference as long as it’s reasonable and you agree. If you can’t agree, the court will take the wishes of children over 12 into consideration when ordering a plan.

Financial Planning for Your Children

The other important part of a “parenting plan” is sharing financial responsibility for the children. In Tennessee, the court requires parents to exchange detailed financial information. The court will set temporary child support while a divorce is pending. The court requires the parents to assess out how health insurance, dental care and other expenses will be paid. If parents are not able to agree, the court will make a determination based on the parents’ incomes from all sources. Considering what is at stake, you should speak to a Tennessee family law attorney. A family law attorney will understand your rights and responsibilities during and after a divorce.

Want to Learn More?

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