The Parenting Plan is the parties’ agreement regarding which parent will have the child. A good parenting plan clearly sets out where the child will be. (See Exhibit 1). In other words, if parents have a parenting plan, calendar and a watch, they know exactly where their children should be.
Under A.R.S. § 25-403.02, every parenting plan must have the following:
Important Factors to Consider When Choosing a Plan
You need to decide how long each parent can spend uninterrupted with the children during the summer. Possibilities range anywhere from one week to the entire summer, if there is a non-primary residential parent (especially one who lives out of state and cannot see the children often during the year). It is a good idea to provide a deadline, such as May 1, in even-numbered years for parent number 1 to put in writing his vacation plans so there is no conflict, especially if there are work schedules, other family members, and airline tickets to consider.
It is important to recognize in writing that each parent must always allow reasonable telephone contact daily and always provide a written itinerary with emergency phone numbers, addresses, flight numbers and the like. All this should be in writing in your parenting agreement.
Holidays should be spelled out in your parenting agreement. Here is a short sample of holidays. You need to decide drop off and pick up times and when a day starts. Most parents agree that the receiving parent picks up.
Frequently, these plans will specify also the exchange times and locations for holidays (e.g., “The receiving parent will pick up the child from the other parent’s home at 6 p.m. on December 24th.”). Having set times for holiday exchanges can avoid a lot of confusion and parental conflict. A sample Holiday/Vacation schedule is included on the next page.
|Even Years||Odd Years|
|New Year’s Eve||Mother||Father|
|New Year’s Day||Father||Mother|
|Memorial Day Weekend||Mother||Father|
|Labor Day Weekend||Father||Mother|
|Child’s Birthday||Both parents||Both parents|