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Introduction to Temporary Parenting Plans

Updated on January 29, 2012

When two parents start divorce proceedings, children often suffer from the changes introduced into their lives. Because the rules and responsibilities of parent get confusing during a divorce, family courts want to see a temporary parenting plan in place.

Divorce proceedings often take months or even years, so a temporary parenting plan is effective in settling all the important decisions that parents make when it comes to raising their children in a stable and healthy environment. The judges in family court want to see a parenting plan that represents the best interests of the children.

Despite the changes that divorce brings, children still need quality time with both parents.
Despite the changes that divorce brings, children still need quality time with both parents. | Source

Best Interest of the Children

In the early days of divorce proceedings, it’s best for the children if their day-to-day routine is not disrupted too much. In other words, parents should let them live in the home they are currently residing in, play with friends, attend after-school classes and participate in normal activities.

When parents work together to come up with a temporary parenting plan, it signals to the court that they are truly putting their children’s needs above their own and that they have a similar parenting style. High-conflict separations may result in parents who are unable to agree on anything. In those cases, the family court will often set up a parenting plan on their behalf.

Types of Custody

Custody is broken into two segments: physical and legal. Physical custody indicates which parent’s home will be the children’s primary residence. Sole custody refers to one parent, while joint custody means the children split time between the two parents.

Legal custody refers to the parent’s right to make decisions for their children, from school to medical treatments. Legal custody can also be granted as sole or joint.

A temporary parenting plan outlines what kind of custody has been granted and provides details about the rights and responsibilities of each parent. Many parents turn to custody software such as Custody X Change to take advantage of the comprehensive parenting plan templates that help them address numerous aspects of the parenting plan. The software lets users print out parenting plans to submit to attorneys or to the court.

Temporary Parenting Plan Coverage

The temporary parenting plan should list everything both parents need to know about parenting from two different locations. It should include a temporary custody schedule that indicates where the children will reside each day of the week and how they will spend holidays and vacations.

The parenting plan must specify which parent will make decisions on their behalf. It can also include many other details that the parents agree on, from curfews and discipline to dating rules for parents and time with extended relatives.

Temporary to Permanent Custody

As the divorce proceedings continue, the temporary custody will be replaced by permanent custody. The children’s comfort and stability will play a large role in the creation of a permanent parenting plan. Parents can request modifications to areas of the temporary parenting plan that aren’t working well.

Ultimately, there is no single parenting plan that fits every family. Families are unique and children have a wide range of needs, even among siblings. A temporary parenting plan is a tool to help both parents and children adjust to the changes brought on by separation and divorce. With a comprehensive temporary parenting plan in place, the transition to a permanent parenting plan is not too difficult.


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