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Child custody plans can address both present and future issues

Life is ever-changing, and - as many residents of Mississippi may know firsthand - time marches on. A spouse or romantic partner that you may have vowed to spend your life with might change in a way that makes the relationship untenable. Or perhaps you were the one who underwent a significant life change that ultimately lead to the end of the relationship. Either way, once a couple in Mississippi splits up, there are a number of issues that must be discussed. And if the couple has children, it goes without saying that they will need to create a parenting plan, also known as a child custody order.

First of all, a parenting plan will address joint legal custody. This involves the right to make key decisions regarding the child. Deciding what to serve for dinner is not a key decision, but deciding where the child will go to school or what religion the child will practice is a key decision.

Second of all, a parenting plan will address physical custody. This involves which parent the child will live with both on a day-to-day basis, as well as which parent will enjoy which holidays with the child and with which parent the child will spend summer vacation.

While some couples might find it easier to create a parenting plan out of court, others will turn to a judge to make these decisions. Once a parenting plan is created, parents may be tempted to file it away and never look at it again. That is unfortunate, as a child's needs may change as he or she grows and by reviewing a parenting plan, choices can be made that update the plan to meet the child's needs.

In the end, if parents can amicably agree on the details of their parenting plan, it can reduce the stress on all parties. Parenting plans can include conflict resolution processes. And if the parenting plan no longer is appropriate in the future, parents can seek to modify it. A Mississippi family law attorney may be able to help in this endeavor.

Source: The Huffington Post, "The Je Ne Sais Quoi of Sound Parenting Plans," Tara Fass, March 15, 2016

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