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SAMPLE PARENTING PLAN

This is an informal parenting plan that parents who don’t live together can use to help make decisions and reduce conflict. It is not designed to take the place of a legal order. This plan can be used to help deal with day-to-day issues, listing common issues that may come up so that parents can decide, and keep a record of, how much of a role each parent will play in the decision-making process for each issue.

The decisions you make using this parenting plan may be slightly different than your legal order – which is fine, as long as you both agree to the changes. If you cannot come to an agreement on issues, then you must follow the court-ordered plan. Some people find it helpful to work with a mediator or shared parenting coordinator to work out their parenting plans.

For each issue listed, decide which parent will handle the decision-making. This can be any arrangement that works for you, the other parent, and your kids. Here are just a few possibilities:

Only one parent makes the decision for that issue

Both parents make the decision together

The parent who has the kids at the time makes the decision

The bottom line is to focus on what will work best for your kids.

Listed on the following pages are some issues that may come up for couples with kids of all ages. In the space provided, write out how you and the other parent will make decisions about these issues.

It may work better for each parent to do this individually, then share the written plan and talk about how to come to an agreement if there are differences.

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