Do You Need A Parenting Plan?

Do You Need A Parenting Plan? - Resolve Conflict Family Lawyers

What Is A Parenting Plan

A Parenting Plan is an informal written agreement between separated parents on their children’s care, welfare and development.

Parents are able to make their own decisions of what will be included in the Parenting Plan that suit their circumstances. The aim of the Parenting Plan is to agree on how things that affect the children are going to be organised. This may include living arrangements, day-to-day care, holidays, special occasions, medical care etc. By having an agreed plan between parents can reduce misunderstandings and potential disagreements.

What To Include In Your Parenting Plan

A parenting plan can cover anything to do with your children and parenting, including arrangements for:

  • Parental responsibility for the children;
  • Where the children live and who they live with;
  • How and when the children will spend time and communicate with each parent, and other important people;
  • Details about other events that may be important, such as sport, school, religion or medical treatment;
  • How expenses will be shared or divided;
  • How you and the other parent might resolve disagreements you have different opinions about something in the future;
  • How you and the other parent might change the parenting plan if you need to; and
  • Anything else that is important to you about the care, welfare or development of your children.

Benefits Of A Parenting Plan

  • A parenting plan can include anything the parents need to agree on about their children;
  • The plan can change at any time if agreed by both parents;
  • Parents have control over the process;
  • It is flexible and easy to execute;
  • Creating an agreement out of court saves time, money and stress; and
  • A parenting plan can be cancelled or changed at any time, by making a new written, dated and signed agreement.

Are Parenting Plans Legally Binding?

A parenting plan is not a legally enforceable agreement. It is different from a parenting order, which is made by a court.

Although not legally binding, Parenting Plans recognised by the Family Law Act 1975 can be used as evidence in Court.

An agreement is recognised as a Parenting Plan under the Family Law Act if it is:

  • In writing;
  • Made between the parents of a child;
  • Signed and dated by the parents of the child;
  • Made free from any threat, duress or coercion; and
  • Sets out any arrangements concerning the care and support of the child.

Related Article: Parenting Plan vs Parenting Order: What You Need To Know

Note: This is general information advice only and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you would like further information in relation to this matter or other legal matters, please contact us on 03 9620 0088 or email

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