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Think of it as a parenting plan instead of a custody plan

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | Child Custody

Family law has changed a lot in Tennessee in recent years. Gone are the times when the mother was presumed to be the better parent for a child to live with after a divorce. These days, the presumption is that it is best for a child to have both parents involved in raising the child – and involved in financially supporting the child as well.

In fact, some of the actual words and phrases that are used in the family law area are changing. In past years in Tennessee, most people probably would have referred to “custody” and “visitation” plans when referring to arrangements between parents for where a child will live or which parent the child will spend time with, and when. Nowadays, you’ll likely see those arrangements referred to as a “parenting plan.”

Parenting plan overview

A parenting plan, as confirmed by the court, details how the child in the case will be cared for. Most of our readers in Tennessee have probably heard the phrase “best interests of the child.” That is at the heart of parenting plans – a focus on arrangements that prioritize relationships between the child and each parent, as well as focusing on the best arrangements in relation to where the child should live and when the child should spend time with each parent.

Ideally, a parenting plan reduces the potential for conflict between the parents. After all, raising a child involves important decisions about education, healthcare and religion, for example, as well as making sure that the child’s basic support needs are met. With a parenting plan in place, the hope is that the parents will be able to focus on the child.