A parenting plan is a formal, written agreement between parents that defines how their children will be co-parented and raised after they have separated. A parenting plan doesn’t have to include legal terms, although the agreement will address legal concepts including “custody” and “access” and “parenting arrangements” and can be included in a marital separation agreement or a final order for divorce.
While separated or divorced parents are not required to create a formalized parenting plan, there are many benefits to doing so. The process of creating the plan will naturally lead both parents to consider different scenarios and how they will respond to them in advance, which can reduce future tension and ensure the best interests of their children are protected. Family law trials are notoriously damaging to a family’s emotional health, while judicial determination of parenting arrangements can be unpredictable. Litigation of family matters is therefore best avoided wherever possible. An effective parenting plan can reduce the likelihood that the parties will end up in court.
A parenting plan should be provide structure, while remaining flexible enough to accommodate the normal challenges of day-to-day life. When parents are not in conflict, a parenting plan can be less rigid, allowing for ongoing decision-making and flexibility within the general structure of the plan. In situations where a separation is acrimonious, it is generally best to define each parent’s responsibilities clearly so that opportunities for ongoing conflict are reduced. A parenting plan can be created without professional guidance where there is agreement, and where parents cannot agree assistance can be provided by lawyers, mediators, social workers and counselors.
A parenting plan should set out how parenting issues are dealt with, and should at minimum address the following:
At FC&Z Family Lawyers, we are passionate about encouraging effective and successful co-parenting. We can help you develop a sensitive and intelligent parenting plan that fits your family’s specific needs. Call to arrange a free, 15 minute consultation with an experienced family lawyer in Vancouver or Calgary.
Begin your journey toward a brighter future. We're here to help.
Call 1-866-245-9829 or book a free consultation online.*
*Free 15-minute phone or video consultation. Schedule now to discover how we can support you.
Gain clarity on spousal and child support. Use our FREE and user-friendly Spousal and Child Support Calculators to better understand your financial obligations or entitlements in this critical aspect of your family law path.
Start your new life.
We can help.