Your Parenting Plan

A guide to making practical arrangements for your children if you live apart.

Keeping in touch with relatives and friends


Children benefit from keeping up contact with people they know and trust – especially during times of change.

Minimising disruption in their lives

Parents separating can be unsettling for kids. You can minimise the effect it has on them by ensuring they stay in contact with all the people they're used to seeing.

A wider circle of support

Children need chances to talk about what's happening in their lives with people who're not directly involved in your separation or any ongoing disagreements you may have with your child's other parent. Just as important, they'll be able to relax and have fun in ways and places that are familiar to them.

Finding out who matters to your children

It's important to ask children directly about this – it's not always who you think. They might include grandparents, children in the wider family, neighbours, teachers, or a friend's parents.

You could chat about this together or ask them to make a list. Younger children may like to fill in the diagram opposite or make one of their own.

Helping them meet and keep in touch

Especially where separation involves a house move, you might need to help your children keep up these contacts. Young children may not know how to get in touch with people outside the family they're used to seeing, or need help getting to and from play dates etc.

Things to consider:

  • Which family members and friends do your children want to stay in touch with?
  • As parents, how will you encourage your children to keep in touch?
  • How will they be able to spend time together during and after your separation?
  • Which of you will help your children arrange meet-ups etc. (it could be both)?
  • For young children, you may need to gather contact details for their important people.
  • Apart from meeting up, in what other ways do they want to keep in contact?
  • How will you help them do this?

"I never see Granny and Grandad now. I used to go to their house a lot."

What we've agreed

The Parenting Plan form is attached in pdf format (688KB)


To request a hard copy of this publication, email

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