A parenting plan is required in separation, custody, annulment, and divorce cases under the laws of some states, which vary by state. It is a detailed schedule of the minimum parenting time for each parent. The parenting time can be split equally or otherwise by agreement of the parents. Parenting time is not dependent on legal custody.
The parenting plan typically include a residential schedule which designates where each minor child shall reside on given days. It will often allocate decision making authority to one or both of the parties regarding the children's education, health care, extra curricular activities, and religious upbringing. The parties may agree that either parent may make emergency decisions which are in the best interest of the child, regardless of the provisions of the parenting plan.