What is a Parenting Plan and what can it cover?
Parenting plans can be a useful document for parents to draft to cover a range of issues and arrangements for children
During the mediation process when dealing with arrangements for children, we facilitate discussions about legal and practical issues for children. At the end of the process, we prepare a document called a Memorandum of Understanding. This is a without prejudice document that can then be taken to lawyers and turned into a parenting plan or court order if needed.
The benefit of having something in writing to revert back to is that it can reduce conflict and give some clarity and certainty for the parents.
Often, during the mediation meetings, the basic outline of a draft parenting plan is created. This can be used as a written record between the parents covering any of the issues that have been discussed. This can include-
· Living arrangements about how the children will spend their time with each parent during term time
· How holidays with the children will be shared and arranged
· When and how children will see other family members
· Education issues and choices (including parents 'evenings and homework)
· Health care, dentist, doctor and medical issues communication
· How you might introduce new partners to children
· Important rules both which both agree
· How might work together to make big decisions e.g. school changes, GCSE choices
· Communication and how will deal with differences
· Telephone and text communications
· Special events and special days
· Clothes and belongings and movement of possessions between homes
· Pick up and drop off arrangements
· Social invites/commitments to events in the other parent’s time
· Who else can look after the children?
· Plans for overseas travel
· How deal with pocket money and financial needs of children
· Religious practise and cultural issues
· Arrangements for family pets (and cost)
· Social and extracurricular arrangements
· Sharing information between parents about the children
· Arrangements for emergencies
· Discipline and differing parenting styles
Discussing these issues before a conflict arises is beneficial for building a post separation co-parenting relationship and most importantly for the wellbeing of the children.
If you would like information about how Mediation or Child Inclusive Mediation can help, please contact us.