Shared Parenting Information Group (SPIG) UK

- promoting responsible shared parenting after separation and divorce -

Parenting Plans - some provisions to include

Purpose and intent.

The residential arrangements defined above are provided for the best interests of the children. The children's interests are best served by a full and regular pattern of contact with both parents, responsiveness and co-operation by both parents, involvement by both parents in all aspects of the children's needs and a reasonably consistent routine of activities, values and discipline throughout both homes. Absence, inconsistency and conflict are opposed to the best interests of the children.

Involving the child in the conflicts between the parents.

Neither parent shall encourage the child to change his primary residence or encourage the child to believe it is his choice to do so. It is a choice that will be made by the parents, or if they cannot agree, by the courts.
Neither parent shall use the child, directly or indirectly, to gather information about the other parent or take verbal messages to the other parent.
Each parent shall exert every reasonable effort to maintain free access and unhampered contact and communication between the child and the other parent, and promote the emotions of affection, love and respect between the children and the other parent. Neither parent shall make derogatory comments about the other parent or allow anyone else to do the same in the child's presence. Neither parent shall allow or encourage the child to make derogatory comments about the other parent.
Each parent shall honor one another's parenting style, privacy and authority. Neither parent shall interfere in the parenting style of the other nor shall either parent make plans or arrangements that would impinge upon the other parent's authority or time with the child without the express agreement of the other. Each parent shall encourage the child to discuss his or her grievance against a parent directly with the parent in question. It is the intent of both parents to encourage a direct parent child bond and communication.
Neither parent shall do anything which shall estrange the child from the other or impair the natural development of the child's love and respect for each parent. Each parent is to refrain from discussion of parental issues during the exchange of the child and the child is not to be involved in any of the parental discussions between the two parents.

Responsibilities of non-primary residential parent.

The father shall exercise the residential time permitted by this plan on a consistent basis, which shall be defined as exercising at least 75% of the residential privileges permitted by this plan, except that missed residential time due to mandatory work requirements or changes in schedule agreed upon by both parties in advance shall not be considered in determining whether residential time has been exercised consistently. If this plan includes a phased in residential schedule, the father shall not progress to another phase of the schedule until he has exercised his residential time consistently for the entire period of the previous phase. Failure to exercise residential time consistently shall be a basis for the mother to request termination of the father's residential time, without a showing of a substantial change in circumstances.
If a parent scheduled to have the child(ren) is unable to do so, that parent shall promptly notify the other parent and the other parent shall then have the option to care for the child(ren) while the normally scheduled parent is absent. The child(ren) shall not be placed in day-care or with baby sitters during any time that the other parent is available and agrees to provide the care. This does not eliminate the normally scheduled parent's responsibility to arrange for alternative care when necessary.

Future changes in the plan.

The parents acknowledge and agree that as they and the child(ren) grow older, it is probable that revisions will be required in this permanent parenting plan. The parents acknowledge such changes are unpredictable, and agree to remain flexible with respect to the provisions in this plan.
Acceptance or waiver of any deviations from the provisions of this parenting plan shall not constitute acceptance or waiver of subsequent deviations from this plan. The provisions of this plan shall remain in effect until modified by an appropriate written order entered by a court of competent jurisdiction.
If a dispute resolution process other than court action has been ordered, the parties shall use the designated dispute resolution process before court action when either seeks to change the plan.

Moving the primary residence of the child

In the event custodial parent intends to move the residence of the child more than 100 miles from their current address, the other parent shall be given at least 60 days advance written notice of the move and information about the proposed new residence.
If a parent's change in residence is such that the distance between the parents is in excess of 100 miles, then the parents acknowledge that the parenting plan may be revised to provide parenting time with each parent to provide substantially the same amount of time as provided herein to the extent possible.
Neither parent shall remove the child's primary residence from (Snohomish or King County) (The Puget Sound area) (Western Washington) (Washington State). In the event that a parent decides to relocate outside of the defined area, that parent shall give sixty days notice of such intent to move to the other parent. Then on moving parent may then bring on the motions calendar a modification action to change the parenting plan to reflect the changed circumstances. Moving the residence of the child from the defined area shall be considered to meet the threshold requirements of RCW 26.09.260(c) and shall be deemed as warranting modification of the residential provisions of the plan. Should either party move from (Snohomish or King County) (The Puget Sound area) (Western Washington) (Washington State), that party shall give the other party ninety (90) days written notice in advance of such move. In the event that the parties cannot agree on changing the plan, or should an emergency exist, either party may bring a motion on the King County family law motions calendar to modify the parenting plan. Such a contemplated change of residence shall in itself be considered a change of circumstance as contemplated by RCW 26.09.260(c) which would warrant major modification of the parenting plan. The Court shall in that event give greatest weight to considering placing both children in the primary care of the party who is not initiating the move, so as to ensure continuity in their schooling and overall stability.

Access to the child.

When a child of the parties isn't residing with a given parent, that parent shall be permitted unimpeded and unmonitored telephone access with the child of not less than two calls per week at reasonable times and for reasonable durations.
Each of the parents shall exert every effort to maintain free access and unhampered contact between the child and the other parent. Each parent shall provide the other with the address and phone number of their residence and update such information promptly whenever it changes.
Each parent shall have the right and responsibility to ensure that the child attends school and other scheduled activities while in that parent's care. Activities shall not be scheduled to unreasonably interfere with the other parent's residential time with the child(ren).

Religious & school activities.

Each parent shall be entitled to have the child participate with them in their religious activities. Neither parent shall disparage the other parent's religious activities or attempt to sway the child to their respective religious or philosophical viewpoint. The child shall be entitled at a point of their choosing after age 12 to determine their own preference.
Each parent shall be responsible for keeping themselves advised of athletic and social events in which the child participates. Both parents may participate in school and extracurricular activities for the child, regardless of the residential schedule.

Access to records.

Both parents shall have full access to school, day care, medical and other records of the child. Both parents shall have equal and independent authority to confer with the child's school, day-care and other programs with regard to the child's educational, emotional and social progress.
Each parent shall provide the other parent promptly with receipt of any significant information regarding the welfare of the child, including physical and mental health, performance in school, extracurricular activities, etc.


Neither parent shall subject the child to corporeal punishment as a means of disciplining the child.
Each parent agrees to encourage the children to have a good relationship with the extended family members. Each parent agrees to encourage and foster the love, admiration and respect of the children for the other parent, and that to that end each agrees to not speak disparagingly of the other parent to or in the presence of the minor children.
Any reasonable request that the children make to spend increased time with the other parent than that allowed in this parenting plan shall be honored.
If a parent fails to comply with a provision of this plan, the other parent's obligations under the plan are not affected.


(The father) (the mother) (both parents) shall enrol in, attend and successfully complete (the Family Services Domestic Violence Treatment Program) (an anger management program approved by the court) (The father) (the mother) (both parents) shall not consume non-prescription drugs or alcohol within twenty-four hours of, or during, his/her time with the child. (The father) (the mother) (both parents) shall not drive with the child unless he/she has a valid drivers license and vehicle insurance liability coverage.
The parents agree that the mother shall establish the daily routine for the child's sleeping hours, and that when the child is residing with the father, this routine will be maintained. The mother will provide the father with written notice of the child's regular sleeping schedule, and will likewise notify the father in writing when the schedule changes as the child grows older.

Disputes between the parents.

When mutual decision making is designated but cannot be achieved, the parties shall make a good faith effort to resolve the issue through the dispute resolution process.
In the event there is a disagreement between the parent having primary time and the other parent as to a specific provision of the physical residence of the child, it is the intent of this Order to allow the maximum time possible to the parent with the least average amount of time.
Where mutual decision making is called for, failure by a party to obtain mutual consent prior to the implementation may be considered in any future hearing regarding a change in residential provisions. Such action shall be considered to meet the threshold requirements of RCW 26.09.260 and shall be deemed as warranting modification of the residential provisions of the plan. Failure to obtain the other parties consent may also result in a finding the offending parent to be in contempt of court with appropriate sanctions.

Thanks to United Fathers of America (Washington State) for this list

Last updated - 27 January 1997

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