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Compromise and practicality aid creation of co-parenting plans

Parents in Tennessee who are splitting up need to work out a co-parenting plan. Many challenges could emerge as two people decide how to divide custody and meet the physical and emotional needs of their children. The final custody agreement likely will not fit perfectly into either parent's life, but parents should focus on productive compromises to show children that both of their parents place a priority on their well-being.

People with older children could ask for input from their children. Although they may not be able to fulfill the children's requests completely, allowing the children to share their opinions could reduce dissatisfaction with the final plan. Parents sharing custody should also accept the practicality that they will likely need to live close to each other to reduce logistical burdens. A co-parenting plan might also need to be built around schedules for school and extracurricular activities.

While negotiating a plan, parents must not use it as an opportunity to punish an ex-spouse or sabotage someone's career. Meeting the needs of children and maintaining their relationships with both parents represent the core purposes of a co-parenting plan. Parents could also test their custody plans for several weeks so that they can make adjustments before finalizing an agreement in court.

Legal advice often plays a role in developing a co-parenting plan. An attorney may help advocate for a person's parental rights, especially if discussions about custody become contentious. If a person reaches an impasse with the other parent, then an attorney might petition a court to rule on the terms of child custody and the divorce settlement. An attorney may be able to prepare court filings and communicate the person's needs to a judge. This service might produce an outcome that allows a parent to maintain contact with children.

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