Creating a Parenting Plan
After separation, parents can find creating a new parenting routine difficult. When parents live together, it is easy to work out who the children will be with and track schedules. After separation, you are faced with day to day living circumstances, special occasions, two homes, extended family, school holidays and religious and cultural holidays.
To make a clear schedule and solve miscommunication, parents come to family lawyers like us to draft a parenting plan which is insightful, forward-looking and considerate of the needs of the children and parents.
Separation and changed circumstances can be made harder if there is a conflict or if a parent or child is having a tough time adjusting. At times counselling and extra support will help to adjust to changes. What can also help, is creating a routine that covers the important dates through a parenting plan.
Is a Parenting Plan Right for Me?
A parenting plan is best suited for parents where there is no or only minor conflict, and where there are no ongoing family violence or child abuse issues. When making a parenting plan, it is important that parents act in the best interests of the children first, while considering your and the other parent's circumstances. It is important that children have the benefit of spending time with both parents, subject to reasonable practicality.
What Goes in a Parenting Plan?
A parenting plan can contain, some, a combination of, or all of the following matters:
Who has parental responsibility for the child and how decisions about the welfare of a child are made.
Who a child lives with.
Who a child will spend time with, including each parent or other people such as grandparents.
How parents will consult with each other about child issues.
When children will communicate with each parent and other people such as grandparents.
How parents will contribute to the financial costs of raising the children and other child maintenance issues.
How disputes will be resolved.
Agreement about travel arrangements interstate or overseas.
Agreement about passports.
Agreement about notification regarding child medical issues.
Any other issues the parents agree on.
A parenting plan includes a schedule of times the children will spend with each parent and other people, and when the children will communicate with each parent. This schedule can then be used by the parents and children to establish a healthy routine.
It is important that the parents support the parenting plan and encourage child participation so that the children can have the benefit of having both of their parents and other people important to them in their life.
Contact our family lawyers today to discuss how our experienced lawyers can create a parenting plan and provide family law advice about parenting and child matters.
With Parenting Plans and Consent Orders, Parents Remain in Control
There are different ways to agree on parenting arrangements without the need for court proceedings. You can choose a parenting plan or consent orders depending on which circumstance is right for you.
A parenting plan can be used to vary a court order regarding children (exceptions apply).