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Knoxville Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Child Custody > The Parenting Plan Form Helps Tennessee Parents Navigate Child Custody Issues

The Parenting Plan Form Helps Tennessee Parents Navigate Child Custody Issues


When divorce proceedings are prolonged, it is often because the couple disagrees about how to share custody of their minor children.  Once the divorce is final and the court issues a child custody order, the relief that parents feel about finally being finished with an emotionally draining divorce, and finally being able to move on after an unhappy marriage, are often short-lived.  What happens if your ex does not show up for visits with the children as planned?  Who is responsible for transporting the children from one parent’s house to the other?  Where will the children spend spring break, Thanksgiving, and Martin Luther King Day?  The best resources to help you avoid these problems and to resolve them if they arise are the Tennessee Parenting Plan form and a Tennessee child custody lawyer.

The Purpose of the Parenting Plan Form

Whereas some official forms (think anything you file with the IRS) do not specify their purpose at all or else discuss their purpose only in incomprehensible fine print, the purpose of the Tennessee parenting plan form is clear.  It states at the top of the form that the purpose of the parenting plan is to enable the children to have a happy, healthy, and stable relationship with both of their parents.  If you have previously filed a parenting plan form but want to modify it, or if you wish to modify a child custody order issued by a judge, you must file a new parenting plan.

Formats of the Parenting Plan Form

The parenting plan form is available on the Tennessee Courts website.  You can download it as a fillable Word document or as a PDF file.  The form is available in the English, Spanish, Korean, and Vietnamese languages.

Primary Custody

Whereas some states word their parenting plan documents with the assumption that the children will spend approximately equal amounts of time with each parent, the Tennessee parenting plan designates one parent as the Primary Residential Parent.  Parents may choose to designate certain days for visits with the non-primary residential parent every week, every other week, or even less frequently, if they so choose.  The form also contains questions about where the children will spend each day off from school; parents may specify that the same parent always gets the children for the same holidays, or they may alternate years.  For example, in odd-numbered years, they might spend Christmas with their mother and New Year’s with their father, but in even-numbered years they would spend Christmas with their father and New Year’s Eve with their mother.  Parents may choose to have one parent be responsible for all transportation to and from visits, or they may divide transportation responsibilities or agree to meet at a neutral location instead of traveling to each other’s houses.

Contact Patrick L. Looper About Child Custody Cases

A Knoxville child custody lawyer can help you agree on and enforce a parenting plan.  Contact Patrick L. Looper in Knoxville, Tennessee for a consultation.



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