Co Parenting Plan

Statement of Arrangements for the Children

This arrangement has been made on the .... day of [month] 1996 between John Smith (father) of [address] and Janet Smith (mother) of [address].

- The father and mother have lived apart from each other since November 1994 and wish to continue to live apart.

- There are two children of the marriage, Jack, born [date] and Jill, born [date].

- The father and mother have sought and received independent legal advice prior to the signing of this agreement.

BASIC ARRANGEMENTS: 1. The mother and father in ending their marriage are resolved to cooperate as fully as possible in order that the children will suffer as little as possible from the separation of their parents.

2. Care and control of the children shall continue to be shared between the mother and the father on an equal basis in a shared parenting format.

3. The mother and father agree that the shared arrangement shall take the form of alternating three day periods. The change-over points during weekdays, when the children are at school, will be 5pm from the childminder's home. At weekends and during school holidays which coincide with the child minder's holidays the changeover time should generally be 10.30am. On Sundays, the father will bring the children to the mother immediately after morning Sunday School. A 'calendar' will be drawn up for twenty four weeks but updated every twelve weeks. This will clearly state which parent is responsible for the children on which days (copy attached for information).

4. During the period that the children are in the care of the child minder, no restrictions will be made on either the father or the mother seeing the children, assuming the child minder agrees and is not inconvenienced. Where the mother and father simultaneously express this wish, priority will remain with whichever parent is caring for the children on that day. If this occurrence takes place, each parent undertakes to return the children to the child minder no later than 4.45pm.

5. Child Benefit will be claimed by both parents, the mother claiming for Jack and the father claiming for Jill. In recognition that Jack will attract benefit for two and a half years after benefit has ceased for Jill, both parents agree to share the remaining benefit after the benefit for Daniel has ceased.

6. Each parent will fund the care, welfare and holidays for the children during their time with them. All other expenses with regard to the children, (including child minding) will be shared equally by the father and mother and they undertake to communicate and cooperate in meeting all extraordinary expenses that may be necessary for the benefit of the children.

7. The home of both the father and the mother will each be furnished as a home for the children. Each parent will clean and take care of the clothes the children wear during their stay with each parent. The children will bring or leave any small toys at either home at their discretion although the parents should undertake to return the items as soon as is convenient. This should not be the responsibility of the children.

8. Each parent undertakes to share all information from the school and continue to make joint decisions about schooling. With regards to medical and dental treatments, except in extreme emergency, decisions will be made mutually. Each parent reserves the right to attend medical appointments with the children regardless of who is responsible for them on that day.

9. The mother and father agree that hey will not prevent communication between the children and the other parent by telephone or post during reasonable hours and will always leave a number or address where they can be contacted.

10. The father and mother guarantee that regardless of personal circumstances, they shall always give paramount consideration to preserving the pattern of mutual and frequent contact and parenting in respect of the children that has already been in operation since the separation. In the event of any future disagreements with regard to the children, the dispute should not become the subject of formal litigation but should be referred to a nonpartisan agency of conciliation, e.g. Relate, National Family Mediation Service, Family Mediators Association.

11. Notwithstanding the above, the mother and the father reserve the right to pursue emergency litigation should either have reasonable cause to believe that the welfare of

the children is at risk.

12. With regards to new partners, the father and mother both undertake that they will always view each other as the parent of the children and will seek to ensure that this relationship will be protected.

CHURCH:

1. The children will continue to be accompanied by the father to Sunday School apart from the third Sunday in the month, when this coincides with the mother's care day. The mother undertakes not to object to the children's attendance at Church on all other Sundays but retains the right in exceptional circumstances and by prior arrangement to take the children on weekend visits - e.g. to see grandparents.

HOLIDAYS AND SPECIAL EVENTS:

1. Christmas, Easter and the New Year: Christmas and Easter will operate on a three-year cycle as follows:

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Easter Christmas Easter Christmas Easter Christmas Mother Father Shared Mother Father Shared

The number of days taken over these periods will be up to a maximum of five days incorporating the core days of the 23rd to the 26th December and Good Friday and Easter Monday.

The shared year means that the normal calendar is in operation and the children spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with tone parent and Christmas afternoon and Boxing Day with the other parent on a rotating basis.

The children have been used to going away with their father over the New Year period. Whilst this holiday arrangement exists, the mother will not object to the continuation of this arrangement.

2. Holidays (general) Either parent can take the children away at any other time with the following conditions:

- That the parent taking the children away clears the dates with the other parent at least fourteen days beforehand.

- That all the relevant details are passed to the other parent beforehand.

- That the children are given the opportunity to contact the other parent while away.

- That the children stay with the other parent (as long as this is practicable e.g. before 6.00pm) as soon as they return for at least one night (dependant on which calendar day the children return) when the three day cycle is recommenced.

- Holidays beyond fifteen days cannot be taken if the other parent objects.

3. Birthdays The children's birthdays will be shared by the mother and father regardless of which parent has responsibility on that particular day. Responsibility for arranging parties will lie with each parent on a rotating basis as follows:

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Jack Jill Jack Jill Jack Jill Father Mother Mother Father Father Mother

4. Mothers Day / Fathers Day The children will spend each of these days with the respective parent irrespective of who has care responsibility.

CHILD MINDER'S HOLIDAYS: 1. The child minder has three weeks holiday per year which equates to 15 weekdays. For the sake of argument we should make this 16 days. Each parent should make arrangements to take at least 8 days per year leave in order to cover the child minder's holidays.

2. The arrangements for taking this leave need to be discussed by both parents at the earliest point at which the child minder can confirm her holiday dates.

SWITCHED CARE DAYS: 1. Each parent has up to 21 days (3 weeks) in a year which they can ask the other parent to look after the children on their behalf without affecting the calendar days.

2. These days should be arranged by mutual agreement but due to their nature may need minimum notice periods. In order, therefore, to arrange these days, typically seven days should be given as a notice period but this period may be overridden if necessary.

3. A log of these 'swap days' will be kept and a statement given with the calendar each twelve weeks with the update of the calendar. The slate will be wiped clean as of January 1st each year when a new 21 days becomes available.

SCHOOL: 1. Any payment due to the school for either child is to be shared equally between each parent.

2. With regards to the covenants for school fees, the father undertakes to covenant for Jack the required amount and the mother undertakes to covenant for Jill the same amount in recognition of the fact that the covenant for Jack will be paid for two years after Jill's has ceased, both parents agree to share the remaining covenanted amounts equally.

3. The costs of school uniform is to be shared equally.

AGREEMENT: This agreement has been made between the mother and the father

and is a set of principles by which they each intend to care for their children in a way which preserves the parenting rights of both, and reflects the needs of their two children.

Father: Signed: ............... Date ........ Witnessed: ............... Date ........

Mother: Signed: ............... Date ........ Witnessed: ............... Date ........

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