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Drafting a parenting plan in a Mississippi divorce

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2024 | Family Law

Mississippi couples who are going through a divorce have several issues to address during the divorce process. If the couple has children, child custody is often a primary issue that needs to be addressed.

Many family law experts recommend that divorcing parents discuss the issue and draft a parenting agreement that addresses the various aspects of custody. Your parenting agreement should answer the following questions:

  • Living arrangements (physical custody):Which parent’s home will serve as the primary residence for the child?
  • Visitation schedule: When will the non-custodial parent spend time with the child?
  • Transportation: How will pick-ups and drop-offs be handled?
  • Communication: How will parents communicate with the child when they are not with the child? How will parents communicate with each other regarding the child?
  • Decision-making (legal custody):How will decisions be made on behalf on the child?
  • Modifications: How will a parent go about changing the agreed upon schedule?
  • Disputes: How will disagreements between the parents be handled?

Possible visitation schedules

The most challenging part of drafting a parenting agreement for many former couples is coming up with a custody schedule that works for both parents but is also tailored to the best interests of the child. Generally, a joint custody arrangement requires that both parents have a substantial amount of time with the child (not necessarily 50-50). Possible custody arrangements include:

  • Alternating weeks: The child lives with Parent A for one week and Parent B the next week.
  • 4:3:3:4: This is a fairly common schedule, in which the child spends four days with one parent, three days with the other, alternating this schedule between the two parents
  • School breaks: The child stays with Parent A during the school year and Parent B during school breaks.

Once the parents have agreed on the terms of the parenting agreement, the final agreement may be presented to the court for approval. Under Mississippi law, if the parents can agree on joint legal and physical custody, the court will presume that joint custody is in the best interests of the child. After review, if the court approves your agreement, it will become an order.