Get free parenting plan templates in PDF and Word format to plan things in a way that is best for your children. The parenting plan is also referred to as the “Child Custody Agreement” to outline how both parents will raise their child. In this article, we cover all the things about parenting plans that help in the upbringing of your child.
Separated parents seem to be facing difficulties and challenges in taking care of their children. In this way, some parents settle the child custody by creating a parenting plan to outline the responsibility and duties of both parents. A comprehensive parenting plan template is the best tool to outline the details of how you and your co-parent will avoid parenting issues and focus on what’s best for their child.
Parenting Plan Template
What is a Parenting Plan?
A parenting plan is a document that outlines the role and responsibility of parents when they are separated. This plan should be detailed and contain all the things that put you in a position to do your best for your children. Creating a good parenting plan is difficult but using a well-crafted template makes work easier and more peaceful for separated parents. You can schedule a time where you give maximum time to the child, plan things that are best for your child, like school or play activities, and manage various issues that may arise in separated parents. Make sure the parenting plan should be created in a way that is beneficial for your child.
You can get all the benefits of a parenting plan by using well-crafted templates, also known as “custody agreement templates” or “co-parenting plan templates”. In some countries, it is required by the court in a divorce proceeding which is a good idea for co-parenting couples. If your state court doesn’t require you to submit it, you should think about your child’s best interest and plan where your child has access to both of their parents; a parenting plan sample and template help you make this happen. It is the best way to make decisions about your children’s schooling, medical care, play activities, and others without conflict.
What Should be Included in the Parenting Plan?
A successful parenting plan should be detailed, carefully crafted, and contain all the essential things that outline the responsibility of separated parents. Many conflicts occur when there is no commitment and agreement between you and your co-parent. Therefore, the things in the parenting plan should be clearly defined: how you and your co-parent will handle custody and co-parenting issues, then the parenting plan comes in. Parenting plan templates serve as the best tool to avoid co-parenting conflict and do the best for their child. The essential things that should appear on the parenting plan to make it successful are as follows:
- Custody Arrangements: In child custody, there are several types of custody. Legal custody of a child means who has the legal power to make decisions about the child’s life, and the parent who has physical custody means the child lives with that parent. Sole custody means parents have custody of the majority of the time. In joint legal and joint physical, both parents are involved in looking after their child. Clearly define the custody arrangement in the parenting plan to decide the responsibility of each parent.
- Parenting and Visitation Schedule: It is a complete visiting schedule that specifies when a child visits each parent and how many times. It should be a 50/50 schedule where the child spends equal time with each parent and feel they both have time to spend with them.
- Holiday Schedule: It must include the holiday parenting plan annually, where each parent has maximum time to spend with their children.
- Medical Care Details: It is one of the most critical decisions parents must take without any conflict. The parenting plan contains the person’s name who gives consent to the medical healthcare for treatment in case of any emergency. It should be the name of the person who has physical custody.
- Daily activity decision: It should include the details of the children’s day-to-day activities on which both parents agree.
- Child Expenses: Make a clear decision about who will be responsible for paying the child’s expenses.
Steps to Create an Effective Parenting Plan
If you want to raise your child with both parents’ love and care, then a parenting plan helps you to do that instead of fighting for custody. For that purpose, you need to make a detailed parenting plan document that eliminates all the conflict and makes things better for your child. In this way, you need to follow the below-mentioned steps to make a successful parenting plan.
Step1: First of all, you need a well-designed parenting plan template that contains all the key components that make it effective. Visit our gallery and select your favorite co-parenting schedule template in PDF, Word, and DOC format.
Step2: When you get a template, put the name and contact information of both parents. Also, write the name of all children.
Step3: Write about the details of the custody arrangement of your children.
Step4: Create a visiting schedule that specifies which days the children will spend with each parent. This happens if you have joint legal and physical custody with your co-parent. Also, put in detail which vacation or holiday will the child spend with which parent.
Step5: You should discuss with your co-parent who will be responsible to pay child support. If you have 50/50 joint custody, then decide how to split the expenses of your children. Enter the amount that you and your co-parent pay for child support.
Step6: Write the person’s name who provides consent to the medical healthcare for treatment in case of any emergency. Usually, it is the parent’s name where the child spends more time but if your child spends equal time with both parents, then put the name of both parents. It works as you allow your co-parent to make decisions about the medical treatment of the children.
Step7: Discuss the responsibilities that each parent will perform when children visit them. Clearly define the child’s day-to-day activities, how much time the child can use the phone or computer, and how each parent will protect their child from weather changes. It helps you to avoid any unnecessary fights and to do all things peacefully.
Step8: If your state requires this document, sign it by both parents in the presence of lawyers to avoid future disputes.
5 Parenting Plan Mistakes to Avoid
If a couple has decided to divorce, then a parenting plan works as a useful tool to take care of their child together. In this way, co-parenting plan templates are used to schedule and organize things in such a way that you and your co-parent spend their maximum time. Moreover, it is the best way to decide everything about children and avoid all disputes that may affect their child. For that purpose, you need to develop a successful paring plan free from all the mistakes. Some common mistakes seen in the parenting plan that should be avoided are as follows:
- Vague Schedule: An unclear parenting time is one of the common reasons to fail your parenting plan. If you and your spouse don’t make a schedule regarding the parenting plan, it may disturb your children. Both parents should make a spell-out plan and follow it to avoid any future.
- Lack of Discussion: The parenting plan works if both parents agreed upon it. The conflict arises when there is a lack of discussion between you and your co-parent about children.
- Missing Child Support Details: One of the main reasons for problems between you and your co-parent is child support. Who will be responsible for paying child expenses is the major element in parenting plans that must be solved. Clearly defined how much amount will be paid by each parent to raise their children quickly.
- Missing custodial parent relocation clause: When there is no clause about the custodial parent’s relocation, it may create conflict between both parents. While making the parenting schedule, there is a need for discussion between you and your co-parent to fix this thing.
- No terms for travel: Remember, it’s an agreement to take care of the child’s health, happiness, education, and mental stability. Both parents or the parents who have legal custody must set some rules about traveling or moving.
Tips to Create a Perfect Parenting Plan
If you want to create a perfect parenting plan, you should find the balance in your family life, understand your children’s interests and make decisions that are best for your children’s future. You should see the example of a parenting plan to know basic things about it. Here are some tips that help you to develop a perfect parenting plan:
- Use Template: A well-designed template helps you design a perfect parenting plan which saves lots of time and is helpful to design a clear parenting plan. Download free parenting plan form templates from our site, which allows you to make changes as you need.
- Consider your Child’s interest: Before making any decision understand what your children want, then decide things according to it for their welfare.
- Be Specific: Include only that information that is necessary and related. Both parents should spell out the plan clearly and put valid things to get the aim of this plan.
- Review Essential Information: The parenting plan works if it contains all the essential information which clarifies the things about parenting schedule, children’s expenses, vacations, medical care, and similar others. Review the information placed on it and check for errors to correct.