Parenting Plans

What is a parenting plan

A parenting plan is an agreement between parents for the daily care and responsibility of their children. The plan will detail how each of the following parenting issues will be managed:

  • the  time children will spend at each parents house
  • how change over will occur
  • education
  • health
  • co-curricular activities
  • holidays
  • religious celebrations
  • birthdays of parent’s and children
  •  communicate with children and parents during non-contact periods
  •  time spent with other significant people such as grandparents
  •  who pays for what
  • how will disputes be resolved and when the plan will be revised
  • any unique issues relating to the family

Is a parenting plan for me?

The time after separation can be extremely stressful and establishing contact arrangements between both parents, and significant people such as grandparents can create needed stability for children.

A parenting plan is appropriate:

  • if you have good communication with the other parent
  •  if you are  mostly on the same page when it comes to parenting
  • if you need the certainty going forward of a written and signed plan by both parties
  • if you would like the ability to mutually change your arrangements  without the added formality of going to the Federal Circuit and Family Court

Parenting plans are not appropriate if:

  • your communication with your ex is poor
  • the parties have distinctly different views on parenting
  • it is unlikely that the other party will honor the plan
  • there has been domestic violence
  • you would like long term certainly with the other party being  accountable to the Federal Circuit and  Family Court 

Parenting Plans and the Federal Circuit Family Court

A parenting plan is not enforceable in the Family Court however the most recent parenting plan can be taken into consideration by the Federal Circuit Family and Family Court.

The court will refer to the parenting plan to determine the original intention of the parties, and if there is a significant change in circumstances in the family’s lives that would warrant a deviation of the original plan. 

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