Some states require a parenting plan, while others don't. Even if the courts don't expect you to file a legally-binding parenting plan, consider working with your ex to develop a set of written guidelines and expectations for raising your kids together. After all, coparenting is much like being business partners, and you'd never run a business with someone you did not communicate with.
To get started, use the following worksheets to develop your initial parenting plan:
- Residential schedule
- Visitation schedule
- Holiday plans
- Special occasions
- School vacations
- Schedule changes
- Special considerations
How do I fill out the parenting plan worksheets? You can either fill the forms out on your own and then meet with your ex to discuss it, or sit down and fill out the forms together. Either way, you should be ready to stand your ground about issues that are important to you, but also be willing to make compromises.
Is the parenting plan legally binding? Your parenting plan will only be legally binding if you file it with the courts. Signing it, or even having it notarized, does not make it legally binding.
What if my state provides its own forms? You can still use these worksheets as a guide to make sure that no important elements are left out of your parenting plan.