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  • Writer's pictureAlan Jacobs

Going Through a Divorce With Children? 4 Things to Keep in Mind for the Final Parenting Plan

It can feel overwhelming going through a divorce when you have children. There are so many things to consider that it can be tough to know where to start.


If you have children under age 18 and are getting divorced in Massachusetts, you will need a parenting plan. You can think of a parenting plan like a roadmap: it should lay out where your children will live and how you and the other parent are going to make major child-related decisions. A parenting plan can also include important details unique to your family situation, such as special holidays that you celebrate and any safeguards that should be put in place to protect your children.


During the divorce proceedings, you and the other parent can either agree on a temporary parenting plan or you can ask the court to order one. A temporary parenting plan ends when a final parenting plan is established in your divorce case. A final parenting plan is intended to last until your child turns age 18. Depending on how old your children are, you may have to live with the final parenting plan for many years.


Parents sometimes assume that a final parenting plan can be easily changed later as your children get older, but this is not necessarily the case. Absent agreement or a few special exceptions, there is a strong presumption under the law that it is in children’s best interest not to change (‘modify’) final parenting plans. With that in mind, it is important to think through issues that may come up in the future before finalizing the final parenting plan. This excellent article offers a few to consider

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