Today I am going to address the advantages of having a Parenting Plan. Successful co-parenting whilst not easy requires both parents to put their personal differences aside and rather put their children’s needs first.

Taking a child-focused approach that prioritises your children’s needs isn’t just good parenting; it’s a legal obligation set out in the Children’s Act of 2005. From a legal and practical perspective, parenting plans are a way to formalise arrangements around raising children and avoiding long, emotionally draining, and expensive fights in court. 

A parenting plan refers to a written agreement between parents, whether biological or adoptive, setting out each party’s parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the minor child/children. This is a detailed document and makes provision for numerous factors relating to the upbringing of the minor child/children, including where the child will primarily reside, and contact between the child and a parent, the child’s schooling, the child’s religious upbringing as well as the child/children’s financial needs.

Parenting plans are advisable in situations where the relationship between parents has deteriorated to such an extent that the parties can no longer effectively communicate with one another. If either parent struggles to exercise their parental rights or fulfil their duties, a parenting plan helps to regulate the situation. Clear guidelines enable ex-partners to work together to raise their children, manage expectations and minimise potential conflict between them. Most importantly, parenting plans protect the children’s rights by prioritising their best interests and ensuring that they receive the care and support they need. In this instance, it is highly advised that parents schedule an appointment with a family law attorney to assist them in drawing up a parenting plan. 

It is of vital importance to ensure that every parenting plan promote the best interests of the child. Furthermore, a parenting plan must be in writing and signed by the parties thereto. Mandatory parenting plans must be registered with a family advocate and made an order of the court. If circumstances change, parenting plans can always be revised.

If you are in need of advice regarding parenting plans or you require a parenting plan to be drawn up, please do not hesitate to contact our offices. We are here to help you and your family.

For direct answers to your specific personal questions, please contact us directly.

Read more about our child law services.

Author – Kate Bailey – Hill

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