What is a Parenting Plan?
A Parenting Plan is a document that you and your former partner complete to support you with your parenting responsibilities during and after your separation. It can cover many issues including your children’s daily routines, school activities, health issues, religious or cultural activities, contact with family members, and anything else which you feel is relevant for your family.
Whilst we at Your Family First recognise that each family is unique, we have developed a free downloadable Parenting Plan which you may use and adapt as you wish.
What are the benefits of completing a Parenting Plan?
It’s very common to get caught up in your emotions when you are going through a separation or divorce. It is a time of great uncertainty for both you and your children. By drawing up a Parenting Plan, you:
- Refocus as parents on your children.
- Gain clarity and certainty of your roles and expectations of one another in relation to your children.
- Give certainty and clarity to your children about what is going to happen to them.
- Encourage good relationships with wider, and or blended family.
- Give stability and clarity to the children about their daily lives.
- Help you establish ground rules with one another regarding your expectations of each other as parents. Even if you are currently communicating well, this can be helpful to rely on if communication begins to get challenging.
The content of your Parenting Plan will change as the needs of your family change. Feel free to download a new plan just as often as you need to.
How to use your Parenting Plan
- Commit to making the plan work, it may feel strange for a while, and you and your children will soon get used to it and the clarity that it brings you.
- Trust the process. You may be finding it challenging to trust each other right now so trusting the process can help develop trust and confidence in each other.
- Review your Parenting Plan regularly. As circumstances change, the Plan can be developed to reflect that. It forms the basis of new negotiations and a framework by which to work. It therefore makes renegotiation easier and you may be able to manage this without the need of a mediator.
- Your Parenting Plan can become part of any Memorandum of Understanding that you may draw up as part of the Mediation process. As such, it can be sent to your solicitor to form the bais of a legally binding agreement.
Need assistance with a Parenting Plan?
Should you choose to use mediation, we can support you to complete a parenting plan together in one of our sessions.
If mediation is not something that is right for you now, we can still assist you with completing your parenting plan for a fee of £50 for 30 minutes.