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What should I include in a long-distance parenting plan?

The life of a single parent is not always convenient, and it's especially inconvenient when the parents live a long distance away from one another. However, Tennessee courts allow for long-distance parenting plans that ensure children have a chance to spend time with both parents, even if they live a long way away from one another.

In most long-distance parenting plans, the children will live permanently, the majority of the time, with one parent, while being able to visit and spend extended periods of time with the parent who lives far away. Here is what parents should include when organizing their long-distance parenting plans:

  • The long-distance visitation plan should identify the primary residence where the child will live.
  • The plan will identify times during which the child will visit with the other parent.
  • The plan also needs to include how vacation time and holidays will be handled.
  • The plan should identify a regular and dependable timetable for visitation.
  • The plan needs to be drafted in legally appropriate language.

The frequency, length and amount of visitation with the other parent will depend on what is doable for the parents and what serves the best interests and visitation needs of the child. For example, if parents have the financial means, a child could visit with the long-distance parent for one week every month. This could be possible by flying the child to the long distance parent.

Alternatively, parents might make an arrangement for the child to visit with the long-distance parent for an extended period of time during the summer months. An experienced family law attorney can assist Tennessee parents in drafting a long distance visitation schedule.

Source: CustodyXChange, "Long Distance Parenting Plans," accessed Aug. 18, 2017

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