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Massachusetts Model Parenting Plans

Do you suddenly find yourself separated from your child’s parent and need to determine how you are going to share physical custody of the child? You are not alone. There are thousands of Massachusetts’ parents who are separated and need to create a custody agreement a/k/a parenting plan. Parenting plans come in all shapes and sizes and are only constrained by the parties’ imaginations. The following are some examples of model parenting plans that should only be used as a guide to help parents develop their own specific plan.

The Custodial Parent/ Non-custodial Parent custody agreement. 

The following is a very common Massachusetts parenting plan that is used when the child primarily lives with one parent. The plan alternates weekly while the child primarily lives with one parent and has parenting time with the other parent as follows:

  • Week 1 – Friday after school to Sunday evening; and
  • Week 2 – Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday from after school through dinner. Child sleeps at custodial parent’s house.

Shared Physical Custody

When the parents choose to share physical custody, the parenting plan requires the cooperation and flexibility of the parents. It also helps if the parties live close to each other or in the same town. In the follow two model parenting plans, week 1 and week 2 alternate every week.

  1.  Plan A
  • Week 1 – Child with Parent A from Monday after school to Monday dropoff at school.
  • Week 2 – Child with Parent B from Monday after school to Monday dropoff at school.
  1. Plan B
  • Week 1 – Child with Parent A from Monday after school to Wednesday Morning. Child with Parent B from Wednesday after school to Friday morning.
  • Week 2 – Child with Parent B from Monday after school to Wednesday Morning. Child with Parent A from Wednesday after school to Friday morning.
  • Weekends- Parents alternate Friday after school to Monday morning.

Holidays

It is important to plan out the holidays. A lack of planning can lead to contention and conflict during what is supposed to be an enjoyable time. The holiday parenting plan typically supersedes the regular parenting plan. Again, there are no fixed rules, but the two typical options are 1) splitting the holiday in half or; 2) alternating years. Holidays should include any out of the ordinary day such as long weekends, summer vacations, religious holidays, ethnic holidays, school holidays and any other day that is special to the parties.

The above parenting plans are generic models that should only be used as guides for Massachusetts parenting plans. The next step is to use the above guides to develop your own workable parenting plan. If you are having trouble agreeing to a parenting plan or need assistance developing a specific custody agreement, contact a Massachusetts family law attorney for help.