What is a Parenting Plan?
A Parenting Plan is a document that records how you and your child’s other parent will exercise your shared parental responsibilities and rights. It is could be described as the bridge that joins our two households.
Who may agree on a parenting plan?
Co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights in order to determine how they will exercise these responsibilities and rights in respect of a child.
When do you draft a Parenting Plan?
- If parents wish to draft a Parenting Plan
- If the co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights experience difficulties in exercising those responsibilities and rights.
- Prior to seeking the intervention from Court, co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights must first seek to agree on a Parenting Plan
How will you draft your Parenting Plan?
The Act provides for two possible processes to be followed. A Parenting Plan could be drafted:
- Through a process of assistance from a – Family Advocate – Social worker – Psychologist
- Or by means of mediation by a: – Social worker – Suitably qualified person
What is included in a Parenting Plan?
- Any matter in connection with parental responsibilities and rights
- Contact between the children and the parties or any other person
- Religious upbringing
Are there any conditions that the Parenting Plan must comply with?
- The Parenting Plan must comply with the best interest of the child standard as set out in the Children's Act.
- The Plan must be in writing and signed by the parties
- It may be registered with the Family Advocate or made an Order of Court
What happens if your Parenting Plan becomes outdated?
A Parenting Plan may be amended or terminated at any stage. It is recommended that parents consider how they wish to maintain and update their Parenting Plan on a regular basis. These processes could be included in the Parenting Plan
How can I be sure that my co-parent will follow the Parenting Plan?
Parenting Plans that are registered at court are court orders and subject to the same rules as any other court order. It further means that you could approach court if the terms of the Plan are violated. In the case of the high conflict divorce situation it is probably best to register the Parenting Plan at court.
If a Parenting Plan is not registered at Court but has been signed and implemented by both parents, the Court probably would consider this aspect if either parent approaches court for some relief.
The only true guarantee for compliance is a sincere attempt to rebuild the trust and relationship
between you and your children’s other parent.