SMP Law – Parenting Plans Series – What Is A Parenting Plan?

Parenting Plans Series – What are They?


When in the middle of a separation or divorce, if you are working with a lawyer, you will likely be asked “what do you envision your parenting plan moving forward?” This can be a very overwhelming question and difficult to even begin to imagine what you would like to see in your parenting plan. The following posts in this series will break down specific parts of a parenting plan with the goal of providing insight into creating an effective parenting plan.


Essentially, a parenting plan is a document that is designed by parents as guide to parenting their child(ren). The purpose of a parenting plan is to help parents make decisions about the children, establish a parenting schedule for you both and outline holidays, extracurricular activities and other various issues that tend to arise in day-to-day parenting.


An important part of a parenting plan is decision making. Who will make decisions for your children?


Decision making is divided among four main categories:


  • Health
  • Education
  • Religion
  • Extracurricular activities


Parents can choose to coparent with one another on each of the above categories when making decisions. What happens when parents disagree? Who makes the final decision when parents have differing opinions?

There are several solutions that can assist parents when addressing these challenges, which include the following:


Solution One – both parents work together jointly to make decisions but in the event of a dispute, one of the parents gets final decision-making authority.


Solution Two – both parents work together jointly to make decisions but in the event of a dispute they hire a parenting coordinator to help mediate and resolve the dispute based on the children’s best interest.


Solution Three – the parents divide up who has final decision making authority on each of the categories. For example, dad has final decisions on health and religion and mom has final decisions on education and extracurricular activities.


The above are just a few ways that decision making can be arranged to avoid the need to require a court’s intervention. Parenting plans can be quite complex, and depends on the family makeup and the relationship between the parties.

SMP Law is always here to help you SiMPlify the process of creating a parenting plan that suits your family’s needs, so do not hesitate to reach out to us at 905-565-9494 if you have any questions. Contact us anytime at SMP Law to help SiMPlify your legal matter at 905-565-9494 or email if you have any questions or would like to book an appointment to meet and discuss your situation and how we can help.


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Stay tuned for our next post on arranging a parenting time schedule.