So, what is a parenting plan and is it for your situation?
A parenting plan is a less formal agreement made between parents regarding their children. A parenting plan isn’t legally enforceable, however, if your matter does end up going before a court then the court can consider the most recent parenting plan when deciding on making court orders.
Your parenting plan needs to be in writing and signed and dated by both you and the other parent. However, you don’t have to register this agreement with the Court. It can be changed or reviewed whenever you and the other parent agree and it can take into account the needs of your children. Who else knows your children better than you?
A parenting plan may deal with one or more of the following:
(a) The person or persons with whom the children will live.
(b) The time the children will spend with the other parent or special people in the children’s lives.
(c) How both parents will share parental responsibilities towards the children.
(d) How both parents will consult with each other when decisions need to be made in the exercise of parental responsibility.
(e) The type of communication the children will have with both parents or other people special to them and when it is to occur. For example, telephone or skype.
(f) Maintenance of the children.
(g) Agreeing on a process both parents can use for resolving any disputes or misunderstandings that might arise about the terms or operation of the plan or orders.
(h) Agreeing on a process to be used by both parents for changing the plan or orders to take into account the changing needs or circumstances of the children or each of the parents.
(i) Any other issues the parents feel are important to the care, welfare and development of the children or the parents’ parental responsibility.
Is a parenting plan going to work in your situation? Ask yourself if it will be a good option for your children and your circumstances and if you are not sure you should consider getting some advice. I understand how important parenting is and that you will want to make sure you consider all of your options. That initial advice might be all you need to give you some reassurance. Send me an email or give me a call.