Shared Parenting Information Group (SPIG) UK
- promoting responsible shared parenting after separation and divorce -
A Parenting Plan is a formal statement of how the needs of children are going to be met after divorce.
Most fully implemented in the US state of Washington, these plans are attracting increasing attention in many parts of the world as more jurisdictions move from emphasising parental rights to encouraging parental responsibilities.
Typically parenting plans cover important areas such as:
- Residential and child care arrangements
- Time spent with each parent and the wider family
- Financial arrangements
- Recreation and holiday arrangements
- Resolution of conflict
- Education and religion
Colorado State lists the aims of a parenting plan as:
To promote the amicable settlement of disputes between the parties to a marriage attendant upon their separation or the dissolution of their marriage, the parties may enter into a written separation agreement containing provisions for the maintenance of either of them, the disposition of any property owned by either of them, and the custody, support, and parenting time of their children. [14-10-112]
Washington State aims are:
To make residential provisions for each child which encourage each parent to maintain a loving, stable, and nurturing relationship with the child, consistent with the child's developmental level and the family's social and economic circumstances. [28-09-187]
Washington State lists the objectives of a parenting plan as being to:
- Provide for the child's physical care;
- Maintain the child's emotional stability;
- Provide for the child's changing needs as the child grows and matures, in a way that minimises the need for future modifications to the permanent parenting plan;
- Set forth the authority and responsibilities of each parent with respect to the child
- Minimise the child's exposure to harmful parental conflict;
- Encourage the parents to meet their responsibilities to their minor children through agreements in the permanent parenting plan, rather than by relying on judicial intervention; and
- To otherwise protect the best interests of the child. [28-09-184]
Things to consider when devising a plan
The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) has produced a number of helpful leaflets for divorcing parents. They emphasise that shared parenting may not work for everyone, and on this site you will find the following extracts:
It is worth noting that although parenting plans may be stand alone documents, but are best incorporated in a separation agreement.
Links to other sites
- Seflin - Shared parenting in Florida
- Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
- Joint Custody statutes and judicial interpretations; in Folberg (ed) "Joint Custody and Shared Parenting" Guilford (1991) Appendix A
- Joint Custody agreements and provisions; in Folberg (ed) "Joint Custody and Shared Parenting" Guilford (1991) Appendix B
- Koopman, Elisabeth J; Parenting plans: mediation strategies for family restructuring after divorce; in Fisher (ed) "Continuing Education in Social Work" University of Bath (1987)
- Sample separation agreement; in The Mediation Process ( ) p 314-320
- Parenting Plan (WPF DR 01.0400); Washington State Courts - Court Forms and Instructions - Domestic Relations Forms (Forms in Word for Windows)
- Parenting Plan; Kids need both parents
- Separation agreement; Colorado State Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act, Article 13, section 14-10-112.
- Tompkins, Robert; Parenting plans - a concept whose time has come; Family and Conciliation Courts Review; (1995) 33(3) p 286-297
Last updated 27 January 1997
Thanks to United Fathers of America, for their help in collecting the resources for this section.
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