Temporary Parenting Plans
A temporary parenting plan or custody agreement contains information about where your child will live and how you and the other parent will care for your child during the divorce proceedings.
A temporary plan lasts until the divorce is finalized and the permanent parenting plan is in place, usually one to six months.
Visualize your schedule. Get a written parenting plan. Calculate your parenting time.
Making a temporary parenting plan
Your temporary parenting plan should have the same information as a permanent parenting plan, but it focuses on the needs of the next few months.
You plan should explain:
- If one parent will have sole legal custody or if both will share joint legal custody
- How you and the other parent will continue to provide care for your children
- Where your child will live and when the child will spend time with each parent
- How you and the other parent will share and divide expenses for the children (if you want temporary child support you will need to file the appropriate papers in court)
Your temporary custody arrangements will most likely turn into the final custody arrangements. You should make your plan so that you can use it as your final plan.
Making a temporary custody schedule
Your plan should have a temporary custody schedule that shows where your child lives and when your child spends time with the nonresidential parent.
Your schedule should contain everything in a permanent custody schedule and show your child's daily living schedule, holidays, and vacation time.
You should make your schedule in the best interest of your child by considering the physical, emotional and social needs of your child.
Filing your temporary plan
You and your child's other parent can work together to make a temporary custody plan to file with the court. If you agree on the plan, the judge will usually approve it.
If you and your child's other parent do not agree on the temporary plan, you will need to file for a temporary custody order and attend a temporary custody hearing. The judge at the hearing will determine the temporary plan.
Some parents do not file their temporary plan with the court because they both agree to follow it. You should file your plan if you want legal backing to your arrangements or if you want the court to have a record of your plan.
Preparing for a temporary custody hearing
To prepare for a temporary custody hearing, you need to make a temporary parenting plan that shows what you want for your temporary custody arrangements.
For the hearing, you and the other parent will meet before a judge. Custody hearings are usually brief, around 20 to 30 minutes, and you will meet in a courtroom or in the judge's quarters. You may be able to present your temporary parenting plan to the judge or you may have to submit a written plan. You should be prepared to quickly summarize your plan and why it's in the best interest of your child.
Making the temporary plan permanent
You may want to track your parenting time while your temporary plan is in effect.
You may also want to note in a custody journal what is and isn't working.
These steps will help you make improvements to your final plan.
If you and the other parent are both happy with the temporary plan, you can make it permanent. You can also make changes, if you and the other parent agree on them.
If you and the other parent do not agree on a final plan, each parent will need to show the court a plan and explain why it is in the best interest of the child. The court will then determine the permanent plan.
The easiest way to make a temporary parenting plan
Creating a temporary plan can feel just as intimidating as making a permanent version. You still have to use airtight legal language and cover all required information. Plus, there's a chance your document could turn into a final plan.
As a result, you get documents that meet your family's needs, as well as the court's standards.
When you're making a plan — whether temporary or final — turn to Custody X Change for fast, affordable help.