A Parenting Plan should have enough detail to be useful, yet enough flexibility to be realistic. It is also important to note that the Plan should be practical and legally compliant. The ages of the children and the capability of dual responsibility should be carefully considered when deciding how specific the Parenting Plan should be. A Parenting Plan can minimize conflict by clearly setting out guidelines and expectations.

Following are some aspects to consider – this is some of the items that we have, though time, identified as important to include in a Parenting Plan:

 Living arrangements and parenting schedules
 Residential arrangements
 Geographical considerations
 Movement of your child between homes
 Moving away
 Childcare and babysitting arrangements
 Communication with child while with the other parent
 Changes to the parenting schedule occasions, unforeseen events.
 Child’s belongings
 Child’s social life
 Holidays and special days
 Arrangements for holidays
 Arrangements for other significant days
 Health care
 Decisions about medical or dental care
 Emergency medical treatment
 Arrangements for medical or dental check-ups
 Care of child if child is ill
 Access to medical records
 Medical insurance
 Arrangements for any special needs of your child
 Children with special needs
 Decisions about any testing or assessments
 Arrangements for any special treatments, therapies or services needed now as well as in the future
 Decisions about any treatment required
 Arrangements for any supplies of equipment or medication
 Decisions about which parent is available if the child requires care.
 Decisions about rules of communication
 Decisions about who will advocate for the child if parents do not agree on a treatment plan
 Education
 Decisions about any choice or change in school, school program, special educational needs, tutoring etc.
 School records
 Attendance at parent-teacher conferences and school events
 School trips
 School absences
 Extra-curricular activities
 Schedule of activities for children
 Religion
 Religious upbringing and activities
 Culture
 Cultural events, education and activities
 Language instruction
 Grandparents and extended family
 Visits
 Communication
 Travel
 Notice of travelling with the child
 Written consent for child to travel out of the country may be required
 Child’s passport
 Communication between parents
 Type of information to be communicated
 Method of communication
 Frequency of communication
 Emergency communication
 Making changes to Parenting Plan
 Process for making changes to the parenting schedule or other parts of the Parenting Plan
 Solving Problems
 Method for resolving disagreements over the Parenting Plan
 Payment of costs
 Other parenting issues

These issues may not apply to every family situation and some will depend on the age of your child. You may choose to discuss these issues on an ongoing basis rather than dealing with them in the Parenting Plan.

 Basic safety requirements, including supervision
 Discipline and lifestyle expectations
 Child’s use of the computer, including social networking, or other electronic devices such as cellular phones, e-tablets, or gaming systems
 Child’s use of the phone
 Diet and nutrition
 Gifts
 Photographs
 Family pets
 Involvement of new partners and family