A parenting plan is an informal document where both parents, when separated or divorced, can lay out the basic rules and schedules regarding their child that they can agree upon.
This lays down a foundation of understanding where both parents can minimize any disputes when it comes to raising a child together. It should, however, be a document that is taken seriously and written very carefully to avoid ambiguous terms.
How to write a parenting plan
There is no correct way in which to write a parenting plan. The format and the style will depend on you as co-parents and the type of relationship that you have, as well as the needs that are necessary to convey in such a document. However, it is important to try and envision every possible scenario when drafting a parenting plan. This includes making rules for family vacations, holidays and mid-week overnight stays, for example. If your child has any health issues, you may also want to include some provisions surrounding the handling of this also.
How do you collaborate?
It can be difficult and challenging to write a document such as this alongside your former partner. One suggestion to make it as smooth as possible is to have one parent draft an initial document based on the terms that they would like to see, and then have the other parent read over it and make some suggestions for amendments, where a negotiation can start to take place.
Creating a sound parenting plan can be a great preventative measure in order to avoid court dates and legal help.
Source: Psychology Today, "Developing Co-Parenting Plans," accessed Dec. 06, 2017