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What to include in your parenting plan in Minnesota

On Behalf of | May 29, 2023 | Family Law

When going through a separation or divorce in Minnesota, developing a comprehensive parenting plan is crucial to establish clear guidelines and ensure the well-being of your children. Including specific elements in your parenting plan can help foster effective co-parenting and address the needs of your children.

Consider the most important things you should incorporate into your parenting plan.

Custody and visitation schedule

Clearly define the custody arrangement and visitation schedule that both parents agree on. Specify the physical and legal custody, indicating which parent will primarily reside with the child and outlining the visitation rights of the noncustodial parent. A detailed schedule should cover regular visitation, holidays, birthdays, vacations and other special occasions to promote consistency and minimize confusion.

Decision-making authority

Include provisions in your parenting plan to outline how you and the other parent will make major decisions regarding your child’s upbringing. Clearly specify areas such as education, healthcare, religion, extracurricular activities and other important aspects. Decide whether you will share decision-making authority jointly or assign it to one parent, taking into consideration the best interests of the child and promoting effective communication and collaboration.

Communication and dispute resolution methods

Outline your preferred modes of communication with the other parent, such as email, phone calls or a co-parenting communication platform. Include guidelines for resolving conflicts or disputes, whether through mediation, alternative dispute resolution or other agreed-upon methods. By addressing these aspects, you can maintain a peaceful co-parenting relationship and minimize stress for both parents and children.

Child support obligations

Clearly state the agreed-upon child support amount, payment frequency and preferred method of payment. Adhere to Minnesota’s child support guidelines and consider factors such as income, medical expenses and childcare costs when determining the appropriate amount. Additionally, outline how you can make modifications to child support if circumstances change in the future.

Parental relocation considerations

Include provisions in the parenting plan to address parental relocation if either parent intends to move a significant distance away. Clearly specify the notice period required before a parent can relocate and outline the process for addressing potential changes to the visitation schedule or other aspects of the parenting plan if a parent moves. By proactively addressing this topic, you can prevent conflicts and provide stability for your child during such transitions.

By incorporating these essential aspects into your parenting plan, you can establish clear expectations, foster effective co-parenting and prioritize the well-being of your children.