A parenting plan is the schedule, decision making and circumstances under which the parents will co-parent or parent in parallel. The main goal of a parenting plan is that your child grows up in the best environment possible. The test to determine this is the best interests of the child. In general, the Court wants to maximize the child’s time with both parents, if they are both loving and able to care for the child. Criteria that is considered in making this decision includes:
- History of child care;
- Ability of the parent to care for the child;
- The child’s health and well being;
- The bond between the child and other important people in their life;
- The need for stability considering age and development; and
- Any history of family violence.
When putting together a parenting plan the parents must consider (1) if their home is suitable for a child; (2) where the school and activities for the child are located in relation to their home; (3) who can provide the most support and stability; (4) who has more time to spend and care for the child; (5) where will their child thrive the best? Remember the child always comes first.