Parenting: Plans & Schedules


As noted on our “Child Custody” Page, Parenting Plans and Time Sharing are the terms and phrases now used to address what most people refer to as “Custody”. Parenting Plans and Time Sharing schedules are used whenever there are minor children involved. However, in some Paternity cases, it is not automatic that the Court addresses these issues. For example, the Department of Revenue (DOR) will not address Parenting issues in their Child Support cases. So, the parenting issues need to be raised by you, if you want them to be established or addressed.

It is important to know the difference between Parenting Responsibility, Parenting Plans and Time Sharing. The key and most significant factor is the “best interests of the child(ren)”.

Parenting Responsibility refers to the how legal decisions will be made and who will be making those decisions, regarding your child(ren). The general areas of decision making are: health; education; religion; and general welfare. The Responsibility can be: Shared Responsibility by both parents; Sole Responsibility by one parent; or Shared Responsibility with Ultimate Decision-Making Authority. Each of which is very different. However, the Parenting Responsibility does not dictate or control Time Sharing (custody and schedule) and vice-versa.

Parenting Plan & Time Sharing refers to what most people associate with “Custody”. This is the plan you will have in place with the other parent to address children’s issues and it will also specifically state your schedule with your child(ren). If it is done right, it will provide you with a detailed schedule for the School Year, Summer, all celebrated Holidays and School Breaks. This schedule will determine who drives, picks-up, drops-off, meeting places, etc. The details of Parenting Responsibility, Parenting Plan, and Time Sharing are very important. The Simmons Law Firm is here to make sure your rights are protected and each detail involving your children is addressed and not overlooked.