In both Tennessee and Mississippi, the courts always prioritize the best interests of the child when it comes to the parents’ divorce and the need for a parenting plan. 

Each parenting plan is unique, but certain elements are common to all and help build a foundation for the new family relationships. 

Reduce conflict 

Divorce jeopardizes feelings of comfort and security in children. To create the parenting plan, you and the other parent must work together in the spirit of cooperation to reduce conflict and minimize stress. Your goal is to create a guide that will help you navigate unknown territory, help your child adjust to the new post-divorce world and establish a framework designed to maintain family relationships. 

Include essential points 

Build your parenting plan around these basic elements: 

  • Clear schedule: Develop a schedule for visitation with your child and provide for holidays, school events and vacation time. 
  • Parental responsibilities: Decide who will take responsibility for what: who takes the child to medical appointments, helps with special school projects and more. 
  • Consistent rules: Establish common rules your child will follow in each household 
  • Behavioral guidelines: Take a unified approach to the various aspects of raising your child so that there is a feeling of sameness and routine. 
  • Information sharing: Determine how best to communicate with the other parent in matters concerning your child, such as face-to-face, phone or email. 
  • Disagreement management: Include the way in which you and the other parent intend to deal with disagreements going forward. 
  • Remember the importance of communication. Discuss what is happening in your child’s life with the other parent. Learning to communicate now will help tremendously as you continue to raise your child. 

Rely on cooperation 

Replace hostility with cooperation, always keeping the best interests of your child firmly in mind. The parenting plan you create will serve not only as a guide for your parental responsibilities but also as a foundation for raising your children with love, understanding and ongoing teamwork in a post-divorce world.