Life is not predictable, but it can be made easier when separated parents have the stability of a parenting plan.
A parenting plan is one of the most critical legal documents for preventing conflict between you and your ex-partner. The Divorce Act defines a parenting plan as a document that outlines how parents will raise their children after separation or divorce. The plan contains elements that determine parenting time, decision-making responsibility and/or contact with the children.
No two couples have the same story and the particular circumstances and needs of your family should be reflected in your parenting agreement. The document should outline specific schedule details to outline the days and hours each parent will spend with the children. A parenting plan is advisable even when parents are amicable because they may not always see eye-to-eye on every issue.
A well-written parenting plan should outline;
- who will make decisions about the children’s education, medical care, religion, and extra-curricular activities,
- where the children will reside,
- how often and specifically when the other parent will spend time with the children,
- accommodations for changes in parenting time, and
- how holidays and special occasions will be shared.
While this is not an exhaustive list, a thorough parenting plan can help immensely on the road ahead. Holidays, special occasions, and vacation time should also be considered. It is important to note that these days will differ from family to family. For example, for some, the Super Bowl is a holiday that they want drafted into their parenting plan in order to carry on family traditions with the children in the event of a separation.