What is a Parenting Plan?

Cortney E. Whitehouse, Esquire, Bloch & Whitehouse, P.A., 8120 Penn Avenue South, Bloomington, Minnesota, 55431, (952) 224-9977, cortney@blochandwhitehouse.com, http://www.blochandwhitehouse.com.

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A parenting plan is an agreement regarding custody and parenting time that includes (a) a parenting time schedule, (b) a designation of decision-making responsibility regarding health care, education and religion as it relates to the child(ren); and (c) a method of dispute resolution, i.e., mediation, parenting consultant, etc. 

A parenting plan is different from a traditional court order regarding custody and parenting time in that it typically does not contain designations of who has sole or joint physical or legal custody of the minor child(ren) except for enforcement outside of the State of Minnesota or the United States where such designations are required.  The absence of need for the argument regarding custody labels enables parents to be more child-focused in their decision making regarding where the children will spend their time and the like.

In addition, parenting plans are often much more detailed than traditional custody orders insofar as they typically address parenting philosophies regarding homework, nutrition, technology, extracurricular activities and more.

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