If you have reached an agreement with your former spouse about any matters concerning children, you can enter into a parenting plan. A parenting plan is an informal written agreement that is made between the parents of a child or children, signed and dated. It can deal with one or more of the following:
- the person or persons with whom a child is to live;
- the time a child is to spend with another person or other persons;
- the allocation of parental responsibility for a child;
- if 2 or more persons are to share parental responsibility for a child–the form of consultations those persons are to have with one another about decisions to be made in the exercise of that responsibility;
- the communication a child is to have with another person or other persons;
- maintenance of a child;
- the process to be used for resolving disputes about the terms or operation of the plan;
- the process to be used for changing the plan to take account of the changing needs or circumstances of the child or the parties to the plan;
- any aspect of the care, welfare or development of the child or any other aspect of parental responsibility for a child
Whilst parenting plans serve a place in the family law framework in child-related matters for parents who wish to have an informal and flexible arrangement, we do not recommend parent plans, mainly because they cannot be enforced as an order of the court.
An Application for Consent Orders is generally the best way to proceed when an agreement is reached relating to children matters. You then have the security of court orders, the orders can be as flexible or detailed as you wish and the cost is very similar.