One of the biggest problems causing divorced couples to return to court after finalizing a divorce is the lack of a specific and detailed parenting plan.

Many people representing themselves, and even people represented by attorneys who do not know better or who do not want to go to the effort required, decide to use ambiguous or abbreviated parenting plans without the significant detail necessary to avoid potential conflict down the road.

In a divorce case, there are two parents, and therefore the chance of a “tie” vote when the parties disagree is very high. The written and very detailed parenting plan should serve as the tie breaking vote. In other words, so long as both parents are in agreement on how to proceed, the two living and breathing parents can outvote the piece of paper signed by the judge. However, when the parties are not in agreement, it is extremely beneficial for the parents to be able to resolve their disagreement by looking to the wording of the detailed parenting plan. When the parenting plan is ambiguous, it cannot break the tie and therefore the conflict continues until often the parties must spend thousands of dollars and return to court to fight over the issues once again. Had the parenting plan been specific, this fight could have been avoided.

When drafting a parenting plan, our attorneys are careful to set specific parenting time schedules, define specifically the days of the week and the holidays assigned to each parent, discuss which parent will provide the transportation, discuss both parent’s rights to contact the children by telephone, discuss which extracurricular activities the children will participate in, and how those costs will be divided between the parents.

If you are going through a divorce, or if you have been required to return back to court because of a disagreement as to parenting time, please call 800-899-2730 and ask to speak with Douglas C. Gardner, or visit our website at