The way you and your soon-to-be-ex will continue to raise your child is one of the most important topics you will address concerning the post-divorce era.

The Tennessee Parenting Plan Law of 2001 exists to help define the structure of the new family dynamic and requires that divorcing parties work together to create an effective plan.

The parent-child relationship

In the state of Tennessee, the parenting plan you and your partner create is directly related to the award of child support and the accompanying support payments. The plan should reflect the best interests of your child and provide guidelines for parenting responsibilities going forward.

What to include

One of the main elements of the plan is the parenting schedule. You might decide on a rotating pattern that allows your child to spend roughly equal time with both of you on a regular basis. However, you must also plan for special events such as birthdays and holidays. Another area that will interest the court is how you and the other parent will make major decisions concerning education, healthcare, religious upbringing and disciplinary action. You will also want to explain how the two of you will cover child-related expenses.

The new family structure

Every parenting plan is unique, and you can include whatever you feel is most important. You might want to address day-to-day rules to follow in each home and the relationship between your child and extended family members. Keep in mind that the parent-child relationship is at the heart of the plan. The purpose of the Tennessee Parenting Plan Law is to remind divorcing parents that children are the most important part of the family structure.

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