Advice from someone who has been in your shoes

Parenting Plans - by CustodyIQ

  • When you're writing up a plan, study every sentence to assess if it allows the reader to fill in any blanks or decide what it means. If so, you need to be more specific in the sentence.

  • Do not use adjectives such as "reasonable" or "liberal". Everyone's definition of such words is different. Instead, use specific terminology like "Every Monday..." or "For every school appointment...."

  • When outlining the parenting schedule, use specific days/dates and times for every exchange.

    • DO NOT write, "...father will spend time with the kids every Monday evening."

    • DO write, "...father will spend time with the kids from 3pm to 8pm every Monday."

    • DO NOT simply write, "... mother will have four weeks of vacation every summer."

    • DO write, "Mother's summer vacation shall occur from 9am on July 1 to 9am on July 28" or you can write, "Mother shall have four consecutive weeks with the children for summer vacation to occur in June, July, or August. By April 30 each year, Mother shall provide father with written notice of her desired vacation start time and end time. Mother's vacation time shall not exceed 28 days, including any normal custodial time."

  • When you look over the parenting plan you're drafting, look over everything and ask yourself, "If someone didn't want to comply with this, is there any way for them to twist out of what I intend, or any way to create confusion?" If so, you need to get more specific.


NOTE: I've found what I consider to be two very good sources for high-quality parenting plans. One offers a set of downloadable plans that you can modify, the other lets you create a parenting plan online and modify it.

Both of the sites above have the same 'parent' company and have the same plans. The only difference is that the online version also lets you share revisions with guests (your ex, your attorney, etc). This may or may not be useful, depending on your circumstances.

This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.

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