Create a Parenting Plan

A parenting plan sets out the parenting arrangements for a child. This includes a schedule of the times each parent will spend with the child. It also includes information on who will make major decisions about education, medical care and so on.

Your parenting plan needs to be in your child's best interests, but it also needs to be practical. It is difficult to stick to a parenting plan that does not work in your situation. There are professionals such as mediators who can help you negotiate with the other parent to create a workable parenting plan. Before you sign a parenting plan, it's important for each of you to show the draft plan to your own family law lawyer. A lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and responsibilities. You may also have forgotten something important that the lawyer can explain to you.

The following tools may help you to make a parenting plan:

Points to remember

  • Court orders and written agreements are legal documents. You have a duty to follow them.
  • Most children need and want contact with both parents after a separation or divorce. If you think it would not be in your child's best interests to have contact with the other parent, you should seek legal advice.
  • Children's needs may change over time. A good plan for a three-year-old may not be the best plan for a teenager. You may need to update your parenting plan if your child's needs change.
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