A parenting plan is an agreement between parents on how they will raise their children after they have separated.
A parenting plan describes how parents will:
- Make major and daily decisions about their children;
- Specify a schedule for where their children will live and when;
- Provide for the physical, emotional,psychological, and spiritual care of their children;
- Adapt to the changing needs of their children;
- Make clear what they expect of each other,especially about what they will each do to care for their children;
- Describe how they will handle disagreements that arise.
- Communicate with each other about the children.
Parts of a Parenting Plan
At DSS we make sure to include every piece of a solid parenting plan to give you a plan you can be happy and comfortable with.
A. Decision Making
The parenting plan specifies who makes the major decisions affecting your child. It gives parents clear authority for making big decisions about education, health, and religion, and states whether parents will be making decisions together or one parent will have more authority for making certain kinds of decisions and participate in future decision-making.
B. Parenting Time Schedule
Our plans include a in depth residential schedule specifing parenting time for each parent; that is, when the children will be in the care of each parent. Our schedules are specific, detailing the amount of time children will spend with each parent during:
- school year
- holidays, vacations, and special occasions such as birthdays and mother’s/father’s day
The idea is to create a schedule that is all about what your child needs but also considers:
- What agreements are in place now
- Who has performed what parenting functions in the past
- Ability and willingness to perform parenting roles in the future
- Child’s relationships with siblings, grandparents, teachers, friends, etc.
- Child’s environment and interests (school, hobbies, sports, etc.)
C. Dispute Resolution
At DSS, we also make sure to discuss and create a dispute resolution process to follow (and include in the parenting plan) if they disagree on how to handle a particular issue. Options include counseling, mediation, arbitration and court. These were all discussed in the creation of your specific parenting plan.
D. Finances: How Will the Child’s
Expenses be Paid?
Our plans also specify how various child related expenses will be handled, including:
- Regular activities and schooling
- School or club expenses, sports equipment
- Travel (e.g., to parents, grandparents)
- Large items (e.g., bicycles, computers,musical instruments, driving lessons)
- Allowance, tuition
E. Future Changes to the Plan
We also will specify how you will go about changing the plans as children’s needs or adults’ circumstances change.