Divorces can be a very emotional time for everyone involved, especially for the children impacted by the matter. A Parenting Plan helps divorcing families get acquainted to how their family structure will change once the divorce is finalized, and also provides for consistency and organization in how divorced parents will continue to raise their children. Tennessee courts require that a Parenting Plan be established and agreed to by divorcing parents before a final divorce decree is granted (Tenn. Code Ann. Sections 36-6-401, et seq.).

A Parenting Plan determines the allocation of parenting responsibilities for divorcing parents, which includes setting up a schedule that dictates when each parent will have the child or children in his or her care. This residential schedule provides for a day-to-day schedule as well as parenting protocol during each holiday. Child support is also established and awarded within a Parenting Plan.

Before a judge will make a determination on a Parenting Plan, the divorcing parents have to complete a Rule 31 Mediation to attempt to agree on the terms of their Parenting Plan. A mediation procedure is usually done in a law office with both parties and their attorneys, in the presence of an unbiased mediator who is also an attorney. Once a Parenting Plan is agreed upon by both parties, the parents are able to be divorced, provided that all other statutory requirements have been met. If the parents cannot come to an agreement over every item in the Parenting Plan, the dispute will have to be heard in a court of law.

If you have any divorce or custody questions, please contact our law office toll free at (865) 999-0101 or locally at (865) 999-0101.


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