What is a Parenting Plan or Custody?

Whether you are going through a divorce or unmarried parents, a Parenting Plan is the set of agreements between parents for raising children. In the past these agreements were commonly referred to as custody and visitation orders. Today’s parenting plans include a comprehensive residential schedule, decision-making agreements and much more. Whether you are going through a divorce or you were never married, I can pursue the best situation for your children who are 18 and younger. During stressful times it is essential that their best interests are given the highest priority and, with my years of experience, I will ensure that is done. I can develop and advocate for the most effective Parenting Plan customized for your children and your particular situation. The Parenting Plan outlines nearly all agreements related to the children and key components of the plan include:

Residential Schedule

The living schedule includes items normally considered part of child custody, a term the courts seldom use these days. The residential schedule lays out a plan to answer questions such as:

  • Where will the child be on week days, weekends, and evenings?
  • How will time be spent during school vacations, summer vacations and holidays?
  • How will transportation and transitions be arranged to make the schedule work?
  • Will the basic schedule be modified as a child reaches a given age?
  • What if one parent lives a distance away from the other parent


Parents need to formalize the process by which decisions are made for their children. Not all decisions are of the same importance, so often different processes are put in place to determine decisions regarding topics such as:

  • Education
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Non-emergency medical procedures
  • Religious instruction

Possible Additional Topics

Depending on the situation, other issues present themselves and may need to be included in the Parenting Plan.   These might include:

  • One parent poses a risk to the children due to substance abuse, domestic violence or mental illness.
  • One parent’s residential time and/or conditions should be restricted or conditional. Examples include supervised visitation with the children, mandatory counseling or substance abuse treatment.
  • Developing a plan for special needs children.