How Long Does a Parenting Plan Last?

If you are in the midst of a divorce and you have children with your spouse, then you may be wondering – how long does a parenting plan last or do parenting plans expire?

In most cases, your parenting plan will remain in effect until your child reaches 18 years of age or becomes emancipated.

Depending on how many children you have and their ages, you may need to create a parenting plan for each child because each of their needs and their duration of custody will be different.

What is a Temporary Parenting Plan vs a Permanent Parenting Plan?

A temporary parenting plan outlines custody information such as where your child will live and how you and your spouse will care for your child while you are undergoing divorce proceedings. In most cases, this plan will remain in effect until the divorce is finalized and the permanent parenting plan is enacted. This can be anywhere from one to six months.

A temporary parenting plan is designed to address your child’s best interests over the next few months, but it should be created using the same considerations and care as you would when creating your permanent parenting plan. In fact, it is not uncommon for a temporary parenting plan, when it is created properly, to become the finalized, permanent plan.

Therefore, when you and your spouse sit down to negotiate your parenting plan, you should do so with the intention of making your temporary plan the same as your permanent plan. This will ensure a seamless transition for all parties, but especially for your children.

Preparing for Your Custody Hearing

Before your parenting plan can be approved by the court you will need to attend a temporary custody hearing and share your plan with the judge, so the court can know exactly what you want for your temporary custody arrangements. This hearing is usually held either in a courtroom or the judge’s quarters and it tends to be brief, typically around 30 minutes. At the meeting, you should be prepared to quickly summarize your custody plan and explain to the judge why you believe it is in the best interest of your child.

Filing Your Temporary Parenting Plan

It is always best to work with your spouse to create a parenting plan that works for everybody because a judge will most likely approve the plan if both parents agree to it. You also want to make sure you file your custody plan with the court because you want the court to have a record of it. This will give you the legal backing you will need should your co-parent refuse to honor a part of the plan down the line.

Need Help Negotiating Your Temporary Parenting Plan?

Negotiating a parenting plan can be one of the most stressful aspects of getting divorced because both parents often believe that they deserve legal and physical custody of their children. It is not uncommon for the parents’ egos to get in the way of creating a plan that works for everybody, but most importantly for the children. Thus, arguments ensue, and stalemate occurs. The problem with this is that should you and your spouse be unable to reach an agreement, the court will ultimately decide your child’s custody for you.

Working with a skilled mediator can help you and your spouse stay on task and communicate, so you can work together to create the best parenting plan for your child. At Mediation Professionals of Long Island, our experienced mediators have helped thousands of parents create effective and lasting custody plans, and we can help you too. Let us guide you through your negotiations and help ensure that your parenting plan has your child’s best interests in mind. Contact us today at 646-992-7440 or click here to send us a message.

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