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A Parenting Plan is a non binding document used by parents (including adoptive parents) to lay out the details of how they will co-parent their child or children together even though they are no longer romantically involved. Although the document is not legally binding, it helps parents to address some important issues and reach an agreement in relation to the children. It is also common for courts to take Parenting Plans into consideration when making decisions about the children, especially if one parent has tried to comply with it, while the other parent has not.
The document addresses issues such as living arrangements and schedules, education, living expenses, co-curricular activities and general rules or guidelines regarding how the child or children will be raised. Parents can use this document to come to a mutually satisfactory plan about how they will raise their children together without needing to give up control of decision making to a judge. If both parents can be civil and work in the best interests of their children, they can save time, money, and energy by creating a Parenting Plan by themselves.
How to use this document
In order for this document to be considered a Parenting Plan under the Family Law Act 1975 it must:
The parents may enter their details and the children's details in the document. They can then work through the document answering the questions when prompted.
Many of the questions will ask about things that need to be agreed between the parents. Therefore the parents may use these questions to guide their discussions, and to help them think of the important issues that they need to think about. Because of this, many parents find that it is helpful to work through the document together.
It is also possible to save the document as a draft before printing and signing it. This means that if one parent is preparing the document but they reach a question that they need to discuss with the other parent, they can save their work and come back to it later.
The document can be amended at a later date if both parents agree.
Once the document has been finalised, it can be printed and signed by both parents. Both parents should keep a fully signed copy for their own records.
Parenting Plans are dealt with under section 63C of the Family Law Act 1975.
Further information is also available from Family Relationships Online.
How to modify the template
You fill out a form. The document is created before your eyes as you respond to the questions.
At the end, you receive it in Word and PDF formats. You can modify it and reuse it.