Hayes, Williams, Turner & Daughtry, P.A.
910-292-6147

3 essential elements to include in your parenting plan

Dividing property and money during a divorce may seem complicated, but splitting these may seem simple in comparison to figuring out timesharing with kids. Creating a fundamental visitation agreement is crucial in the success of your post-divorce parenting.

A parenting plan is a document North Carolina law requires parents draft that delineates each parent's schedule with the kids. When creating it, think carefully about these three scheduling elements to help the process go smoother.

1. School year

The first block of time to decide is how to break up the time during the school year. You will follow this at any time except holidays and summertime. It should include the following:

  • The days of the week the kids stay with each parent
  • Where and when the exchange in custody happens
  • The times the other parent can call

You may always alternate weekends, but should designate the permanent weekdays the kids stay with each parent. Doing this will give kids and parents stability. Using school as the exchange point may minimize conflict between parents. You may also want to designate a time for the children to speak to their other parent each night if requested.

2. Holidays

Holidays can change a schedule drastically. The key is to include a special holiday timesharing section and to name the days it applies. The holiday schedule will take precedence over any other schedule. You will need to consider the children's birthdays, winter break, spring break and other holidays when there is no school. It is typical for parents to alternate holidays yearly, except for Mother's Day, Father's Day and each parent's birthday. Kids usually spend these four days with the appropriate parent.

3. Summer break

Summertime is peak family vacation time, and as such, you may want to change up how visitation occurs. You may want to split it up in weekly blocks, or you may decide to keep the same schedule with a special allowance for vacations.

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