The Benefits of Parenting Plans


Adding a parenting plan to your custody arrangement can be very beneficial and make your custody schedule run more smoothly. A parenting plan outlines both small, day-to-day aspects of your child’s life as well as major decisions about their care and lifestyle. Our experienced New York City divorce attorney can assist you and your former partner with creating a detailed parenting plan that fits your unique situation and focuses on the wellbeing of your child.


The most successful plans are those that cover the various aspects of the child’s life, their relationships with both parents, and the parents’ respective responsibilities. Having a plan in place will help your family avoid unnecessary conflicts and give your child a sense of security and provide a routine. We can help you and your former partner create a plan that answers all the questions involved in sharing the custody of your child, including:

Parenting Time

  • On which days will each parent have the child during the week?
  • How will the child be transferred from one parent to the other, and at what time?
  • Will you celebrate the child’s birthday separately or together?
  • How will custody be divided during the summer and holiday breaks?
  • Will holidays be shared or split?
  • Will the child be expected to follow the same set of rules at both homes?
  • When will the child see grandparents and extended relatives?


  • Will you discuss and agree before making medical or dental decisions?
  • Whose health insurance plan will the child be on?
  • How will you divide costs that are not covered by insurance?
  • Who will take the child to medical and dental appointments?
  • Will both parents have access to the child’s medical records and be notified if there is an emergency?

School and Activities

  • Will the child continue attending the same school?
  • Will the child bring lunches or will the cost of school lunches be shared?
  • Will both parents receive report cards and attend teacher meetings?
  • Who will take care of the child on sick days and snow days?
  • Will you work together to make important education decisions?
  • Will you mutually decide what extracurricular activities the child can participate in?
  • How will lesson, league, and equipment fees be split?


  • Are you in agreement over the religious upbringing you want the child to have?
  • Will the child attend the same religious organization no matter which parent they are with?
  • How involved should the child be in the religious organization?
  • How will you settle disagreements about religion?


  • How will you divide the costs of raising the child?
  • How will you save for the child, such as a college fund?
  • How will the child be claimed as a tax deduction?
  • Will the child receive an allowance? Who will pay the allowance?
  • Who will pay for damages caused by the child, such as a broken window or car accident?


  • How will the child be disciplined?
  • What are the child’s daily responsibilities and chores?
  • Will there be guidelines as to how the child will interact with the parents’ significant others?
  • What rules should be enforced for what the child eats, watches, listens to, wears, etc.?
  • Will the child have a curfew?


Since 1983, Attorney Andrew Spinnell has provided families in NYC with dedicated and effective representation. Our experienced team can work with you to create a comprehensive parenting plan that suits your family. We understand that nothing is more important than the wellbeing of your child, and we would be proud to assist you and your former partner with building a beneficial parenting plan to make life more peaceful and structured for you and your child. Contact us today to learn more about parenting plans and to retain the outstanding legal counsel of the Law Offices of Andrew J. Spinnell.