In any family situation, children are likely to be the primary concern for both parents, especially in a potentially traumatic situation like a divorce. In order to facilitate the care and keeping of children throughout this legal process, Tennessee passed a parenting plan law back in 2001. This law outlines requirements and guidelines for setting up post-divorce custody and care.

How a parenting plan works

According to The Tennessee Parenting Plan Law, divorcing family members must work together to create an effective plan for the new normal. The plan should indicate the division of responsibilities and the way the child’s needs will be met within the new family structure. Note that parents should work closely with their mediator and attorneys to form a cohesive plan.

Why a parenting plan is important

The purpose of a parenting plan is to protect the child’s interests and preserve the child’s relationship with both parents. The plan is something of a road map to interacting with your ex-spouse with regards to your child. It details how care and responsibilities will be divided among the former spouses. A good plan reduces conflict by presenting clear guidelines and roles for both parents. Creating the plan necessitates having important discussions about education, religion and medical care, which can prevent stress in the future by making determinations in the present regarding these important topics.

The goal of a parenting plan

A parenting plan is not meant to be filled with legal jargon. Rather, it should be written in plain, easy-to-understand language. Instead of focusing on custody and visitation, as some states do, Tennessee enacted this law to shift the focus to parenting responsibilities—a more positive approach. The goal of the parenting plan is to minimize hostility and resolve future issues before they come into being.