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Tennessee residents who are getting a divorce and have children will want to do whatever they can to maintain some semblance of normalcy. Since divorce can negatively impact children of all ages, having visitation with the parents is critical. This can be done in several ways. A temporary parenting plan has certain requirements under the law. Parents should be aware of them whether they are formulating the plan themselves or the court is doing it for them.

A temporary parenting plan should comply with the legal requirements for a permanent parenting plan and the residential schedule for when the divorce case has been completed. When presented with a temporary parenting plan, the court will approve of it if the parties are able to agree to it without court intervention. If this is done, there will be no need for it to be in writing and entered into the record.

If the parties cannot come to an agreement on a temporary parenting plan, either or both have the right to ask the court to issue an order for dispute resolution. The parties can be ordered to take part in this process so that a temporary parenting plan can be established. Various factors can eliminate this requirement, such as if there was abuse of any kind, the parent being involved in the child’s life not being in the child’s best interests or if there was willful abandonment.

It is possible that dispute resolution services will not be available. If that is the case, the parties can request an expedited hearing so that a temporary parenting plan can be established. The parties will submit a proposed plan with verified statements of income and a verified statement that the plan has been issued in good faith and serves the child’s best interests. If one party issues a parenting plan and the other does not, it can be requested that this be put into place by default if it serves the child’s best interests.

Divorce is difficult enough without worrying about the child and if the parenting plan and visitation rights will be in dispute as the case moves forward. Knowing how a temporary parenting plan can be ordered and what the requirements are is crucial in a divorce.