The contents of both optional and mandatory Parenting Plans can vary according to section 33(3) of the Act:
‘A Parenting Plan may determine any matter in connection with parental responsibilities and rights, including –
(a) where and with whom the child is to live;
(b) the maintenance of the child;
(c) contact between the child and –
(i) any of the parties; and
(ii) any other person; and
(d) the schooling and religious upbringing of the child.’
Furthermore, the regulations to the Act prescribe child participation, bearing in mind the child’s age, maturity and stage of development.
Regulation 11, which deals with participation of a child in preparation of Parenting Plans states the following:
‘(1) Bearing in mind the child’s age, maturity and stage of development, such child must be consulted during the development of a Parenting Plan, and granted an opportunity to express his or her views, which must be accorded due consideration.
(2) When a Parenting Plan has been agreed [on] the child … bearing in mind the child’s age, maturity and stage of development, [must] be informed of the contents of the Parenting Plan by the family advocate, a social worker, social service professional, psychologist, suitably qualified person or the child’s legal representative.’
Therefore, before an optional or mandatory Parenting Plan can be registered with the family advocate or made an order of court, Regulation 11 must be applied.