The goal of any parenting time plan should be to ensure that a child(ren) has a relationship with both parents that, as nearly as possible, encourages continued parental responsibility and promotes continued parental access. Parenting time should not be viewed as a portion of the child(ren)’s time allocated to a parent, but rather a portion of a parent’s time reserved for the child(ren). To this end, parenting time plans should offer structure but allow flexibility. For this reason, more structure will be necessary as parenting time plans move across the spectrum from a shared parenting time arrangement to a supervised parenting time plan. In between are parenting time plans that offer some flexibility but contain enough structure to remove obstacles that could interfere with the success of the parenting time plan.
Minnesota Statutes Section 518.1705 permits parents to agree upon and designate a Parenting Plan for the minor children. Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 518.1705, parents have discussed and agreed upon a parenting plan that includes the processes and philosophies by which parenting decisions will be made, a schedule of time that each parent spends with the children, mechanisms for the allocation and payment of the health, education, and general welfare expenses of the minor children, and a method of dispute resolution in those instances when they may not be able to agree on these and other parenting issues. Where the parenting plan makes references to “parenting schedule,” “parenting time,” “parenting decisions,” “time sharing arrangement,” or “shared parenting arrangement,” parents intend that such terms will be construed as meaning and providing for access to the Minor Children under concepts of both joint legal and joint physical custody.