Your Parenting Plan
A guide to making practical arrangements for your children if you live apart.
Making a Parenting Plan
The purpose of making a Parenting Plan is to help ensure the welfare and happiness of your children by agreeing sensible and sustainable arrangements for their care.
How will you do it?
Parents can make a Parenting Plan themselves or with help from a family mediator or family law solicitor. Parenting Plans can be worked on together face-to-face, by telephone, by email or online, or by communicating through a family mediator or solicitor.
Some parents may use this guide to make a written, signed agreement that covers all aspects of how they'll look after their children after separation.
Others may not want to write anything down and will simply use this guide as a starting point for discussions.
Different children, different plans
If you have more than one child, you might want to make a separate plan for each of them. They may have different needs and wishes, especially if they're of widely different ages. Having a plan for each child and discussing it with them individually will help them feel they have more control over what happens in their life.
It may help to start with things you know you'll find easier to agree on and work towards the more difficult areas.
Honesty and compromise
Being prepared to reach compromises can be useful, but there's little point pretending that something you feel very strongly about isn't an issue just to get a Plan in place. If your Plan isn't mutually agreed, it's unlikely to last.
Reviewing your Plan
Circumstances change and, of course, children's needs change as they grow. Part of having an effective Parenting Plan for your children is being ready and able to review it and make adjustments as required. Towards the end of the Planning topics you'll find guidance on making future adjustments.
To request a hard copy of this publication, email YourParentingPlan@gov.scot
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