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Jun 15, 2024, 12:57:44 PM

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Interstate / Long-Distance Joint Custody Parenting Plan

To be blunt, this is not an example of a of a long-distance parenting that we would recommend, due to the unwieldy structure and overly-complex clauses. This is offered [u]only[/u] as an example parenting plan of this type.

A better (and frankly, more sensible) long-distance parenting plan schedule is available from ParentingPlan.net.



IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF [COUNTY, STATE]
PETITIONER’S PROPOSED PARENTING PLAN


The following children were born to or adopted by the parties:


Name: [CHILD’S NAME]  Birth Date: [DATE OF BIRTH]
Name: [CHILD’S NAME]  Birth Date: [DATE OF BIRTH]
Name: [CHILD’S NAME]  Birth Date: [DATE OF BIRTH]

CUSTODY AND PARENTING TIME

CUSTODY:

  1. Mother and Father shall have joint legal custody and joint physical custody of the child.



PRIMARY RESIDENCE OF CHILDREN:

  1. Father’s residence shall be designated the address of the child for mailing and educational purposes.


NOTE: Neither parent shall move his or her residence or the residence of the child without giving 60 days written notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to any party with custody or parenting time rights.


  1. PARENTING TIME: Children, whenever possible and appropriate, need to have frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with both parents.

  2. The child shall spend time with Mother on the following days and times:



Weekends- regular: IN ANY MONTH IN WHICH MOTHER DOES NOT OTHERWISE HAVE HOLIDAY OR EXTENDED WEEKEND PARENTING TIME, ONE WEEKEND OF THE MONTH OF MOTHER’S CHOICE, FROM 6:00PM ON FRIDAY UNTIL 3:00PM ON SUNDAY. NOT TO INTERFERE WITH HOLIDAYS AND SPECIFIC DAYS OTHERWISE LISTED WITHIN THIS PARENTING PLAN.

Weekends- other: EVERY EXTENDED WEEKEND WHEN SCHOOL IS NOT IN SESSION ON A FRIDAY OR MONDAY, FROM 6:00PM THE LAST DAY SCHOOL IS IN SESSION UNTIL 3:00PM ON THE DAY PRIOR TO SCHOOL RESUMING AFTER THE EXTENDED WEEKEND.



EXCHANGES
At all times exchange of the child from Mother to Father shall occur at:

UNTIL THE CHILD REACHES THE AGE OF 12- ANY AIRPORT IN MOTHER’S STATE OF RESIDENCE HAVING FLIGHTS REQUIRING NO CHANGE OF AIRCRAFT BETWEEN MOTHER’S AIRPORT AND FATHER’S AIRPORT, FLYING TO ONE OF THE HOUSTON AIRPORTS. **

ONCE THE CHILD REACHES THE AGE OF 12- ANY AIRPORT IN MOTHER’S STATE OF RESIDENCE HAVING FLIGHTS REQUIRING NO MORE THAN ONE CHANGE OF AIRCRAFT BETWEEN MOTHER’S AIRPORT AND FATHER’S AIRPORT, FLYING TO ONE OF THE HOUSTON AIRPORTS.

** After contacting several major airlines, Petitioner finds that, as a general rule, airlines will not allow a child under age 12 to fly unaccompanied on flights requiring a change of aircraft between point of departure and final destination.

Exchange of the child from Father to Mother shall occur at:

UNTIL THE CHILD REACHES THE AGE OF 12- ONE OF THE HOUSTON AIRPORTS HAVING FLIGHTS REQUIRING NO CHANGE OF AIRCRAFT BETWEEN FATHER’S AIRPORT AND MOTHER’S AIRPORT, FLYING TO ANY AIRPORT IN MOTHER’S STATE OF RESIDENCE. ** (See above)

ONCE THE CHILD REACHES THE AGE OF 12- ONE OF THE HOUSTON AIRPORTS HAVING FLIGHTS REQUIRING NO MORE THAN ONE CHANGE OF AIRCRAFT BETWEEN FATHER’S AIRPORT AND MOTHER’S AIRPORT, FLYING TO ANY AIRPORT IN MOTHER’S STATE OF RESIDENCE.

Special provisions- choice of airports:

MOTHER SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO DESIGNATE WHICH AIRPORT(S) THE CHILD DEPARTS FROM AND ARRIVES TO IN MOTHER’S STATE OF RESIDENCE.

FATHER SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO DESIGNATE WHICH AIRPORT(S) THE CHILD DEPARTS FROM AND ARRIVES TO IN FATHER’S STATE OF RESIDENCE.

Special provisions- pick-up and drop off times:

THE PICK UP AND DROP OFF TIMES LISTED FOR EACH PERIOD OF PARENTING TIME HEREIN SHALL BE MET BY PLACING THE CHILD ON A FLIGHT DEPARTING AS CLOSE TO, BUT NO LATER THAN ONE HOUR FOLLOWING, THE DESIGNATED PICK UP OR DROP OFF TIME.

TRANSPORTATION:
Transportation arrangements for the child for all scheduled parenting times, including weekdays, weekends, holidays, and vacation times shall be as follows:

Mother and Father shall share responsibility for transportation of the child, including cost, as follows:

EACH PARTY SHALL BE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN COSTS IN TRANSPORTING THE CHILD TO AND FROM THE AIRPORTS IN THEIR RESPECTIVE STATES.

ALL TRAVEL PLANS SHALL BE FINALIZED AND AIRLINE TICKETS PURCHASED NO LATER THAN 21 DAYS PRIOR TO THE DATE OF TRAVEL.

ANY PARTY REQUESTING OR REQUIRING A CHANGE IN TRAVEL PLANS LATER THAN 21 DAYS PRIOR TO THE DATE OF TRAVEL SHALL BE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ADDITIONAL CHARGES INCURRED IN CHANGING TRAVEL PLANS (I.E.- INCREASE IN COST OF AIRFARE, FEES FOR CHANGING TICKETS, ETC.).

IN THE EVENT THE CHILD MISSES A SCHEDULED FLIGHT, ANY ADDITIONAL COSTS INCURRED (I.E. CHARGES TO CHANGE FLIGHTS, PURCHASE OF NEW AIRLINE TICKETS, ETC.) SHALL BE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PARTY WHO FAILS TO PLACE THE CHILD ON THE SCHEDULED FLIGHT.

FOR EACH PERIOD OF PARENTING TIME, THE CHILD SHALL DEPART FROM AND ARRIVE TO THE SAME AIRPORTS FOR EACH PORTION OF THAT TRIP (I.E. DEPART FROM HOUSTON HOBBY, ARRIVE TO KANSAS CITY GOING TO MOTHER. DEPART FROM KANSAS CITY, ARRIVE TO HOUSTON HOBBY RETURNING TO FATHER.)

THE PARTIES SHALL COOPERATE IN ORDER TO SECURE THE LEAST EXPENSIVE FLIGHT ARRANGEMENTS POSSIBLE (I.E.- ONE ROUND TRIP TICKET).

IN THE EVENT PARENTS ARE UNABLE TO COOPERATE IN PURCHASING ONE ROUND-TRIP TICKET, THE FOLLOWING DEFAULT PLAN SHALL APPLY:

MOTHER SHALL PURCHASE ONE ONE-WAY AIRLINE TICKET FOR THE CHILD TO TRAVEL FROM FATHER’S AIRPORT TO MOTHER’S AIRPORT.

FATHER SHALL PURCHASE ONE ONE-WAY-TICKET FOR THE CHILD TO TRAVEL FROM MOTHER’S AIRPORT TO FATHER’S AIRPORT.

IF A PARTY FAILS TO RENDER PAYMENT FOR THEIR SHARE OF THE COST OF A ROUND-TRIP AIRLINE TICKET TO THE PARTY WHO PAYS FOR THE AIRLINE TICKET, WITHIN 15 DAYS OF THE PURCHASE OF SAID ROUND-TRIP TICKET, OR 10 DAYS PRIOR TO THE SCHEDULED TRAVEL DATE, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST, THE FOLLOWING SHALL APPLY:

AIRLINE TICKETS FOR THE UPCOMING PERIOD OF PARENTING TIME SHALL BE PURCHASED IN THE DEFAULT MANNER DESCRIBED HEREIN ABOVE. THE PARENT WHO HAS PAID UP FRONT FOR THE ROUND-TRIP TICKET SHALL HAVE THE SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE ANY AND ALL CREDIT GIVEN BY THE AIRLINE IN THE EXCHANGE OF THE ROUND-TRIP TICKET TO APPLY TOWARD THEIR PORTION OF CURRENT AND FUTURE TRANSPORTATION COSTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES.

HOLIDAY SCHEDULE:

The following shall apply:


  1. Friday and Monday holidays include Saturday and Sunday.
  2. Holidays include all Saturdays and Sundays (weekends) immediately adjoining the holiday and days that school is not in session due to a holiday.
  3. Holidays take precedence over regular parenting time.




Each party shall have holiday time as follows:






HOLIDAY EVEN YEARS ODD YEARS PARENTING TIME
Christmas and New Years FATHER MOTHER 3:00PM ON DECEMBER
20TH UNTIL 12:00PM THE DAY PRIOR TO SCHOOL RESUMING
Martin Luther King Day MOTHER MOTHER 6:00PM THE DAY
SCHOOL DISMISSES UNTIL 3:00PM THE DAY PRIOR TO SCHOOL RESUMING***
Easter MOTHER MOTHER 6:00PM THE DAY SCHOOL DISMISSES UNTIL 3:00PM THE DAY PRIOR TO SCHOOL RESUMING***
President’s Day MOTHER FATHER 6:00PM THE DAY SCHOOL DISMISSES UNTIL 3:00PM THE DAY PRIOR TO SCHOOL RESUMING
Spring Break FATHER MOTHER 6:00PM THE DAY SCHOOL DISMISSES UNTIL 12:00PM THE DAY PRIOR TO SCHOOL RESUMING
Memorial Day MOTHER MOTHER AS PART OF MOTHER’S SUMMER PARENTING TIME
Independence Day MOTHER MOTHER AS PART OF MOTHER’S SUMMER PARENTING TIME
Labor Day MOTHER MOTHER 6:00PM THE DAY SCHOOL DISMISSES UNTIL 3:00PM THE DAY PRIOR TO SCHOOL RESUMING***
Columbus Day MOTHER MOTHER 6:00PM THE DAY SCHOOL DISMISSES UNTIL 3:00PM THE DAY PRIOR TO SCHOOL RESUMING.***
Thanksgiving MOTHER FATHER 6:00PM THE DAY SCHOOL DISMISSES UNTIL 12:00PM THE DAY PRIOR TO SCHOOL RESUMING
Mother’s Birthday MOTHER MOTHER 6:00PM THE DAY SCHOOL DISMISSES FOR THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY UNTIL 3:00PM ON DECEMBER 20.
Father’s Birthday FATHER FATHER ON THE WEEKEND
PRECEDING OR OF FROM 6:00PM FRIDAY UNTIL 3:00PM SUNDAY
Child’s Birthday FATHER MOTHER ON THE WEEKEND PRECEDING OR OF FROM 6:00PM FRIDAY UNTIL 3:00PM SUNDAY
Father’s Day FATHER FATHER 6:00PM THE FRIDAY
PRECEDING UNTIL 3:00PM ON FATHER’S DAY
Mother’s Day MOTHER MOTHER 6:00PM THE FRIDAY
PRECEDING UNTIL3:00PM ON MOTHER’S DAY
Summer Parenting Time MOTHER MOTHER 12:00PM ON THE FIRST SATURDAY AFTER SCHOOL DISMISSES UNTIL 3:00PM ONE FULL WEEK PRIOR TO SCHOOL RESUMING
Other MOTHER MOTHER AT ANY TIME MOTHER TRAVELS TO FATHER’S AREA OF RESIDENCE**
Other BOTH BOTH In the event of death in the immediate family, additional parenting time shall be allowed so that the child may attend the funeral of the deceased family member.****



[u]** To include picking the child up from, and taking the child to, school AND taking the child to, and participating with the child in, the child’s extracurricular activities.[/u]

[u]*** Martin Luther King Day, Easter, Labor Day, and Columbus Day are all extended weekends in Father’s school district. [/u]

[u]**** "Immediate family" shall be defined as follows: Parents, siblings, half-siblings, grandparents, and great-grandparents. Four consecutive days shall be granted and the specific days shall be the choice of the parent in whose family the death has taken place. [/u]


  1. CHANGES: The parents’ schedules and commitments may require occasional changes in the parenting time schedule. Parents shall attempt to agree on any changes, but the parent receiving a request for a change shall have the final decision on whether the changes shall occur.
  2. The parent making the request shall make such request in writing to the other parent.
  3. The request for change shall be made no later than 21 days prior to date of requested change.
  4. The parent receiving the request shall respond no later than 7 days after receiving the requested change.
  5. The response to the request shall be made in writing to the other parent.
  6. Any parent requesting a change of schedule shall be responsible for any additional airfare costs resulting from the change.
  7. Mother and Father shall cooperate to allow the children to meet their school and social commitments.





TELEPHONE CONTACT: Each parent shall have reasonable telephone access to the child during any period in which the child is with the other parent [u]no less than[/u] as follows:


  1. 6:00pm on Sunday and Thursday of each week.
  2. Length of telephone contact shall last as long as the child determines the conversation shall last.



Parents may call at times, other than the scheduled telephone contact times listed herein, and shall be allowed to speak to the child if the child is present.


B. DECISION MAKING RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

All reports and records made available to Mother and Father shall not include personal information regarding the spouse of Mother or Father.

All reports and records made available to Mother and Father shall include the address and telephone number of the other parent when available.

Each parent shall make decisions regarding the day-to-day care and control of the child while the child is with that parent. Regardless of the decision-making responsibilities stated in this parenting plan, either parent may make emergency decisions affecting the health or safety of the child.

Each parent shall be responsible for getting records and reports directly from service providers and each parent shall keep the other parent fully and promptly informed of the contact information for all service providers. "Service provider" shall include, but not be limited to, medical care providers, dental care providers, mental health care providers, and educational providers.

Each parent shall immediately provide written consent and approval to all service providers to release all records and information concerning the child to the other parent upon the other parent’s request.

Each parent shall list the other parent on all records of the child in the appropriate "Parent" sections and as an emergency contact. At NO time will a parent enter the name of a stepparent in the "Mother" or "Father" information sections on any record although stepparents may be listed as emergency contacts by either parent.

Each parent will use ONLY the child’s legal name and/or surname on all records and reports and with all service providers. At NO time will a parent use a name and/or surname on any of the child’s records or reports or with a service provider other than the child’s legal name and/or surname.

Each parent shall have the right to allow their spouses and immediate family members to provide transportation for the child, and, in the absence of the parent, supervise the child and make minor day-to-day decisions regarding the care and discipline of the child. Transportation shall include, but not be limited to transporting the child to and from medical and dental appointments, to and from extracurricular activities, to and from airports at the beginning and end of parenting times and to and from school and school activities.

At NO time will spouses or immediate family members of either parent be allowed to make major decisions regarding the child or to independently consent to medical treatment for the child [u]except in a legitimate medical emergency when neither parent can be immediately contacted[/u]. "Legitimate medical emergency" shall be defined as an illness of or injury to the child requiring transportation to a hospital emergency room, trauma ward or other emergency facility [u]and[/u] where the life and/or health of the child is at stake if treatment is not commenced immediately.

Major decisions regarding the child shall be made between Father and Mother as follows:

Education: SHARED
Medical: SHARED
Dental: SHARED
Selection of Health Care Providers: SHARED
Selection of Child Care Providers: SHARED
Extracurricular Activities: SHARED
Religious Upbringing: SHARED

CONFLICTS CLAUSE: In the event the parties are unable to agree on any above listed major decisions, each party shall have final and superior decision making rights regarding each decision making area in their individual areas of residence.

Neither party shall schedule extracurricular activities in such a way as to interfere with the other party’s parenting time without prior written consent from the parent whose parenting time will be affected.

2. COMMUNICATION:

Each parent shall inform the other parent as soon as possible of all school, sporting, and other special activity notices and cooperate in the child’s consistent attendance at such events.

Each parent shall always keep the other parent informed of his or her actual, physical, residence address, mailing address if different, home and work telephone numbers and any changes within 24 hours of such change occurring.

Except in a legitimate emergency, neither parent shall contact the other parent at their place of employment. Except in a legitimate emergency, all communication between the parents shall be limited to after work hours and by contacting the other parent only at their home.

Neither parent shall say or do anything in the presence or hearing of the child that would in any way diminish the child’s love or affection for the other parent and shall not allow others to do so.

All court related and financial communications between the parents shall occur at a time when the child is not present and, therefore, shall not occur at times of exchanges of the child or during telephone contact with the child.

Neither parent shall use the child in any way to relay messages to the other parent.

Neither parent shall schedule activities for the child during the other parent’s scheduled parenting time without the other parent’s prior written agreement.

Acceptable communication in all matters shall be as follows: By personal contact, by telephone and by U.S. mail. Initial negotiations on matters may be conducted by electronic mail but all final agreements must be verified by one of the acceptable methods of communication listed above.

C. DISPUTE RESOLUTION:


  1. Parents shall attempt to resolve any matters on which they disagree or which involve interpreting the parenting plan through the following alternative dispute resolution process prior to any court action.

    Mediation by: XXXXXX COUNTY DOMESTIC RELATIONS OFFICE- ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION DIVISION.

  2. The cost of this process shall be allocated between the parties as follows:

    Father: [u]50%[/u]

    Mother: [u]50%[/u]

  3. The process shall be started by notifying the other party by certified mail.



EXPENSES OF THE CHILD:


  1. The amount of child support to be paid by Mother to Father is as follows: AS DETERMINED BY (CITE DETERMINING DOCUMENT(S)

  2. Father shall exercise the State and Federal dependency tax deductions in reference to said child in odd-numbered tax years. Mother shall exercise the State and Federal dependency tax deductions in reference to said child in even-numbered tax years.

  3. In the event Mother is not current in her support obligation on December 31st, the State and Federal dependency tax deductions automatically revert to Father, regardless of who is scheduled to exercise said tax deductions.

  4. Expenses not included in the stated child support amount shall be paid as follows:










    Expense Mother Father
    Health Insurance Coverage: 50% 50%
    Medical (uninsured, co-pays, etc.)** 50% 50%
    Dental** 50% 50%
    Vision 50% 50%
    Psychological 50% 50%
    Educational**** 50% 50%
    Extraordinary expenses (extracurricular activities***, car insurance, etc.) 50% 50%





**Medical and dental expenses shall NOT include elective or solely cosmetic medical and dental procedures. The cost of elective or solely cosmetic medical and dental procedures shall be the sole responsibility of the parent obtaining or requesting such procedure.

A parent who utilizes out-of-network providers shall be solely responsible for all costs in doing so.

***Limited to one extracurricular activity per parent per 12 month period and a $150.00 total cap per activity.

Beyond one extracurricular activity per parent per 12 month period, costs of extracurricular activities shall be shared 50%/50% only where BOTH parties agree on the additional activity. Where one party does not agree to the additional activity, the other party may still enroll the child but shall be solely responsible for the cost of the activity.

In the event the cost of an activity chosen by or for the child exceeds the $150.00 total cap, costs will be shared 50%/50% only when BOTH parents agree to exceeding the $150.00 total cap. Where one parent does not agree to exceed the $150.00 total cap, the child may still be enrolled in the activity. The dissenting parent shall then only be responsible for their half of the $150.00 total cap ($75.00). The remaining costs shall be paid by the parent choosing to exceed the $150.00 total cap.

****Educational expenses shall NOT include private school tuition EXCEPT upon the mutual and written agreement of BOTH parents. Educational expenses shall NOT include elective (non-essential) summer schooling and elective tutoring services but SHALL include necessary summer schooling and tutoring services to correct academic deficiencies where the child is in peril of failing a subject.

Special provisions- Submission of costs:

All bills for shared costs shall be submitted to the other parent within 30 days of the date of service. A parent who fails to submit a copy of a bill for a shared cost to the other parent within 30 days of the date of service shall be solely responsible for all out-of-pocket costs, including but not limited to all uninsured costs and co-pays, for that bill.

All bills for shared costs shall contain, at a minimum, the following information:

Name and contact information of the service provider
Child’s name, date of birth and any other available personal information of the child
Date of service

And shall clearly state:

- The service provided
- The total out-of-pocket cost for the service
- The amount of the out-of-pocket costs which have already been paid

Special provisions- Summer School

The need for the child to attend summer school shall not be sufficient to diminish or deny Mother’s summer parenting time. Mother may secure summer school or tutoring services for the child in Mother’s area of residence.

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