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Parenting plans help you lay out your child's schedule

Parenting plans are a required part of custody planning that the courts ask for. The judge wants to know that it's clear where a child will be at any time and that any contingencies have been discussed. It's important that you and you ex-spouse work together to create a plan that works with your schedules and the needs of your child.

There are many different plans you can implement depending on your situation. For example, if you have joint physical custody, you'll need to create a plan where you both have significant time with your child. A 50/50 time-sharing schedule or a 60/40 time-sharing schedule does just that. Sometimes, parents with joint custody choose 70/30 schedules, because it allows the child to have a primary home while spending the other days with the other parent.

For example, a 50/50 schedule would split a child's time into around 3.5 days per week with either parent. This can be divided up in a number of ways, like having one parent take care of the child one week and the other the next. A 60/40 schedule has the child stay with one parent slightly more than the other. In that case, the child would stay with one parent around four days per week. In a 70/30 situation, the child sees one parent around five days a week while the other has the child two days a week. This is fairly common when children are in school.

When you design your parenting plan, know that you can make adjustments for holidays, school breaks and other special circumstances. Your attorney can help you decide on the best plan for your life.

Source: Custody X Change, "Parenting Plans," accessed June 08, 2017

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