If you and your partner decide to get a divorce, or terminate your partnership, then it is required to create a parenting plan if you have children under the age of 18. The parenting plan contains agreements that you and your partner have made about the care and the upbringing of your children. Couples who are married, have registered partnership, or are cohabiting and sharing the parental responsibility, are required by law to have a parenting plan.
The content of a parenting plan
A parenting plan must include the agreements the partners have made concerning:
- The care arrangement or the access arrangement of the upbringing of the children that can be divided between two.
- How you will be communicating with one another about the important topics, such as the choice of the school
- The costs for the care and upbringing of the child maintenance
- It is also a good idea to include all other agreements in the parenting plan, such as what you consider to be important aspects of parenting: specific rules like bedtime, homework or views on punishment. You might also want to include agreements about contact with your respective families.
- Both partners are required to sign the parenting plan.
Care arrangement or access management
Care or access management is part of the parenting plan. Parents who share the parental responsibility have to agree on a care arrangement, which describes how the tasks involved in the children’s care and upbringing will be divided between them.
If only one parent has parental responsibility, the parents would agree on the access arrangement. The parent who does not have any parental responsibility is not responsible for the care and the upbringing of the child, but has the right to contact the child. When you hire a lawyer, they will work with you on a parenting plan.
This plan will help in clarifying the arrangements which you will need to put in the place concerning care of your children after the separation, without needing to go to the court. It will help you in dealing with the children’s other parent, and it asks the parents to put the best interest of their children first. There are also many other benefits to making the parenting plan:
- It will help everyone involved to know what is expected of them
- It acts as a valuable reference to reference back to
- It sets out practical decisions about the children such as living arrangements, health care, and education.
An experienced lawyer will have the expertise in preparing a tarenting plan that would be beneficial for both the spouses.