Select from the below sample provisions as appropriate:
The parents agree to the following terms and conditions related to the parenting of their child(ren).
This parenting plan shall determine the procedures for the day-to-day care of the minor child of the marriage, namely, Name of child(ren), born DATE.
TYPE OF CUSTODY ARRANGEMENT
Custody of the children shall be as follows:
The parents agree that the Mother shall be the parent of primary residence and that the Father will be the Parent of Alternate Residence; or
Neither the Mother nor Father shall be designated as parent of primary residence, unless necessary for school enrollment. In such an event, Mother/Father shall be designated the parent of primary residence for school purposes only.
The parents agree that in exercising this custody and parenting time plan, they shall reside no more than X minutes in driving distance from each other.
The parents shall have joint legal and joint physical custody of the unemancipated child of the marriage and shall confer on all matters of importance including those specifically delineated herein.
When the children are with one party, that party shall be designated the Primary Caretaker of the children.
The parents acknowledge and agree that they are to communicate with each other when required for the best interests of the children.
The parents agree that on all matters of relative importance relating to the health, education and general welfare of the children, they will confer with each other with a view to adopt and follow those policies which are in the best interests of the children. The parents respectively shall promptly notify the other of illness and other matters or problems affecting the children and their just welfare and interest and shall also notify the other as to their residence and telephone numbers.
It is expressly understood by both parents that neither shall do anything to alienate the child’s affection or to color the child’s attitude toward the other. On the contrary, both parents shall cooperate in every way to help the children better adjust themselves to the circumstances as they now exist and may in the future exist. Both parents shall conduct themselves in a manner that shall be best for the interest, welfare and happiness of the child, and neither party shall do anything which shall adversely affect the morals, health and welfare of the child.
The parents agree that the child/ren will enjoy parenting time with Mother/Father as follows:
i.e., other weekend from Friday at 6 pm to Sunday at 6 pm; and
every Wednesday from 6 pm, overnight, to Thursday morning return to school, as applicable.]
or at another hour in consideration of the children’s schedules and obligations.
At all times, the parenting time provisions as set forth herein may be modified through consent of the parents.
The parents agree that the parenting time schedule set forth herein is intended to be flexible, and, as such, may be modified upon consent of both parents.
The parents intend to be flexible with the time sharing schedule, making adjustments to accommodate each other’s requests for special occasions.
The parents acknowledge that due to unanticipated events, periodic adjustments to the parenting schedule may be needed. The parents nevertheless acknowledge that disappointing the child and/or frequent changes to the parenting schedule may have an adverse effect upon the child. Accordingly, the parents shall make every reasonable effort to minimize any changes to said schedule and each will give the other as much advance notice as possible in order that appropriate plans for the child may be made.
The parents understand that the above designations are overnights, and the transitions for the child shall occur after school, as indicated above. The parent having the child for his or her designated overnight shall be responsible for arranging for the child’s transportation to school the following day.
The parents agree that when the child do not attend school or attends less than a full day of school due to, but not limited to, inclement weather or illness, the parent with whom the child awoke that morning is responsible for their care. If the day is a transition day, the transition time would approximate the after school time, unless other arrangements are made by agreement.
Each parent shall be responsible for picking up and dropping off the child at school, child care or summer camp and shall be responsible for taking the child to his extracurricular activities during his or her parenting time or provide the other parent with the opportunity to do the same if he or she cannot take the child to said activities.
The plan shall commence effective with the signing of this Agreement (or upon separation of the parents).
Each party shall have the right of first refusal if either is not available for parenting time. In the event that either parent is unable to be with the children for any extended time (i.e. afternoon or evening) during his/her parenting time and would otherwise leave the children in the care of any third party, care of the children should be offered in the following order: (1) Other parent; (2) Grandparents; (3) Other family members, as mutually agreed to. Only after these options are exhausted shall the children be placed in the care of a mutually agreed upon babysitter.
The parents shall be responsible for supervising the child’s homework and special projects during their respective parenting times.
Each parent shall be entitled to reasonable telephone access with the child during reasonable hours when the child is/are not with them. Each parent will allow the child to call the other parent whenever the child would like.
SCHEDULE FOR SCHOOL BREAKS
The parents shall continue to utilize the regular parenting time schedule during the children’s Summer break, Spring Break and Christmas Break, however, each parent shall be flexible so as to allow both parents to spend time with the children over such school breaks.
The child/ren will spend spring break 20__ with Father, and 20__ with Mother. Thereafter, spring break will be alternated each year with Father having even numbered years and Mother having odd numbered years.
The child/ren will spend Christmas break with the parent with whom they did NOT spend Spring break with that year. This same parent will have the first option to take vacation time with the child/ren that year.
The parents shall continue to utilize the regular schedule during the child/ren’s summer break with the exception of the one consecutive week of vacation time detailed below.
SPECIAL OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS
Any and all times, such as, but not limited to, special occasions, holidays, and vacation time, specifically designated herein or subsequently agreed upon, for a parent to spend with the child supersedes the regularly scheduled parenting time routine. The holidays shall be allocated as below, unless otherwise mutually agreed.
If either party has three weekends in a row with the child because of a holiday weekend (e.g. Memorial Day, Labor Day, 4th of July), then that party will forego the third weekend and, instead, the other party will be with the child on that third weekend. Thereafter, the alternate weekend schedule will continue as if there was no change.
The parents shall arrange their schedules so that both parents can spend time with the child on special occasions in the child’s life, including, but not limited to, school and social events. Both parents shall be entitled to attend such special events regardless of the parenting schedule in effect on that day.
SCHEDULE FOR HOLIDAYS
The parents shall have custodial time with the children for a particular holiday in odd or even years, as detailed in the chart below:
With Mother With Father
New Year’s Eve & Day Normal residential schedule
Martin Luther King Day
Day before President’s Day
Passover: First Night
Passover: Second Night
4th of July
Labor Day (Monday only)
Columbus Day School Holiday
(9 am – 7:30 p.m.)
Election Day School Holiday
Veterans Day School Holiday
Halloween Normal residential schedule
Thanksgiving (Thurs & Fri)
Thanksgiving (Sat & Sunday)
Mother’s Day & Mother’s Birthday
Father’s Day & Father’s Birthday
SCHEDULE FOR CHILDREN’S BIRTHDAYS AND OTHER HOLIDAYS.
Each parent is entitled to two hours with the children on their birthdays.
The non-custodial parent shall have the first option to take the children to dinner. If either parent opts to have a birthday celebration for the children, it shall be planned during his/her own parenting time.
The parents shall attempt to each spend time with the child/ren on the child/ren’s birthdays.
The parents agree that each parent will spend time with the child/ren on the child/ren’s own birthday with arrangements to be made by prior agreement of the parents.
If there are additional holidays not delineated above, parenting time for these holidays shall abide the normal residential schedule.
Transportation for the Father’s parenting time with the children will be provided by the Father.
Transportation for the Mother’s parenting time will be provided by the Mother.
The parents agree that each may have two weeks of vacation time with the child every year, taken in one-week blocks. This is in addition to school breaks in the spring and at Christmas, as designated above and any additional vacation time as agreed upon, as long as it does not interfere with school or other previously agreed upon extracurricular activities, except as agreed.
The parents agree that, in order to lessen the likelihood of a schedule conflict for the child each will let the other know of his/her intention to travel with the child as soon as he/she is able to do so, but not less than 30 days prior to, and before making final reservations/plans for, vacation. The vacationing party will also provide to the other party, prior to departure, the address(es) and telephone number(s) and itinerary of the trip.
Day To Day Decisions
Each parent shall make decisions regarding the day-to-day care and control of the child while the child is with that parent.
Each parent shall respect the parenting skills and abilities of the other parent. Regardless of the allocation of decision making in this Parenting Plan, either parent may make emergency decisions affecting the health or safety of the children when the children are in his/her care and will notify the other parent as soon as possible.
The residential parent shall immediately notify the other parent in the event of any serious illness (high fever, accident or other illness requiring medical attention), while the children are in that parent’s care.
The Mother and Father shall consult and agree with each other with respect to all major decisions concerning the children’s education, illnesses, operations, medical care, health, welfare and other matters of similar importance affecting the children, whose well-being, education and development shall at all times be the paramount concern of the Mother and Father.
The parents shall always discuss such decisions together prior to informing the child of their decision.
Surgery and Hospitalization
It is expressly agreed to that each child/ren’s emergency medical needs shall supersede the parental right of consultation except that the other parent shall be notified immediately or as soon thereafter as is practical of the nature of the emergency. To that extent, either party may consent for emergency medical treatment for the child/ren, and each parent must notify the other of any hospitalization, emergency or otherwise, as soon as the situation is stabilized within 12 hours upon the need arising for such hospitalization.
Both parents must consent to any non-emergent scheduled surgery. Consent shall not be unreasonably withheld.
Illnesses or Accidents
If either of the parents have knowledge of any illness, accident or other matter seriously affecting the well-being of the child/ren, he or she, as the case may be, shall promptly notify the other; and except in cases of emergency shall not take any action to hospitalize the child/ren without first consulting with the other parent.
Both the Father and the Mother shall be entitled to any and all information, records, reports or the like pertaining to the child/ren from pediatrician, general physician, dentists, consultants, municipal, county and state officials, school teachers or school officials, instructors, counselors and any other third parents for any reason whatsoever and, upon request, copies of any reports of such specialists shall be given to the requesting parent. Neither party will interfere with the other’s access to such information, records, reports or the like. This Agreement shall be an authorization from the parents to any physicians, dentists, consultants, school officials, etc., to release any and all information.
Specifically, each parent shall have the right to communicate with any physician, therapist or other professional who may examine, treat or submit any reports concerning the child/ren. Each parent shall be entitled to complete information from any such health care provider or mental health care professional attending to the child/ren for any reason whatsoever.
Both parents shall be entitled to receive notices, including but not limited to school schedule, back to school night, teacher conferences, and other meetings, teacher notes and/or communications, progress reports, or report cards with respect to the child. Each parent shall be entitled to notification of any formal scheduled meetings with the child/ren’s teachers, school evaluators, Child Study Team members or such other individuals designated to evaluate or classify the child/ren except in cases of emergency. Both parents shall be entitled to arrange for duplicate copies directly from the school. Alternatively, both parents shall have a right to be present at such scheduled meetings. This provision is not intended to preclude the right of either party to informally confer with the children’s teachers to discuss routine issues without notification to the other party.
Both the Father and the Mother shall execute any documents necessary to effectuate the intent of this provision. Further, each parent shall be responsible for providing his or her respective contact information, including e-mail address, telephone numbers and address to the child/ren’s regular and religious schools, camps, doctors, tutors, coaches, instructors and the like.
Both parents desire and intend for the child/ren to remain in the _____ School District and both parents agree that the child/ren shall be domiciled in _____ unless otherwise mutually agreed.
Each party shall be entitled to be present at the child/ren’s school and sporting events and other similar activities and events. Although an activity of the child/ren may take place during a period of time outside of either parent’s normally scheduled parenting time, the parent who does not have the child/ren with them at that time is not prevented from attending such activity. If the child/ren is/ are attending an extracurricular activity and there is a last minute change in the time, place, and nature of the activity, the parent in custody shall immediately notify the other parent of the rescheduling and the particulars concerning same.
Both parents shall keep each other informed of their residence and phone number and shall promptly notify the other of any changes. If either parent is out of town for two or more consecutive nights, he or she will provide the other parent with a phone number where he/she can be reached in case of an emergency.
Neither party shall make disparaging comments about the other party or any significant others, allow family members, friends or others to make such comments, discuss their divorce in detail, or have verbal disagreements in the presence of the child(ren).
The parents shall cooperate with one another in establishing mutually supportive and consistent arrangements regarding routine decisions. Both parents shall make an effort at consistency between their respective households including but not limited with respect to morning and evening waking and bedtime routines, mealtimes and bedtimes and completion of homework.
Each party recognizes that there may be another significant person(s) in his or her life who will have frequent and ongoing contact with the parents’ child. Accordingly, the parents agree as follows:
- Neither party shall authorize a third party to exercise parental control over the parents’ child nor make parental decisions for the parents’ child.
- Neither party shall allow such a third party, including their respective parents, to interfere, or undermine the relationship between the child and the mother and father respectively or to make derogatory, negative or disparaging comments about either parent to the child or in the child’s presence.
- If either party remarries, they shall not allow the child to call the step-parent “mother” or “father” or any vernacular/abbreviated version thereof.
- In the event of the death of either party, the surviving party is to have the sole and exclusive custody of the child. Each party hereby agrees that, in the event of the death of the other party, the child shall have reasonable and appropriate access to the deceased party’s parents (i.e., the children’s grandparents), siblings, nieces, nephews, and other family members. In addition, each party shall cooperate with the executor of the other’s Will as it relates to the financial affairs of the child.
- The child shall continue to be known by the name as set forth herein, and by no other name during minority, and his or her name shall not be changed from said name, and they shall be enrolled in all schools, programs and camps under said name. The parents shall see to it that the designations Father and Mother or any equivalents shall be used to refer to the parents hereto and no others.
In accepting the broad grant of privileges confirmed by this parenting agreement, the parents specifically recognize that these powers will not be exercised for the purpose of frustrating, denying or controlling in any matter the social development of the other parent. The parents will exert their best efforts to work cooperatively in future plans consistent with the best interests of the child and in amicably resolving such disputes as may arise. If a party fails to comply with a provision of this plan, the other party’s obligations under the plan are not affected.
The child’s best interests shall at all times be taken into consideration as a factor in the exercise of all parenting time. In this regard, it is in the child’s best interests to participate in extracurricular, social and recreational activities such as, for example, athletics, clubs, academic, musical and social activities, and the same shall be accorded due consideration.
The parents shall cooperate with each other in carrying out the provisions of this Consent Order for the best interests of the child. Whenever it shall be deemed necessary to adjust or vary the time allotted to either party, or otherwise take action in regard to the child, the parents will act in the best interests of the child. The parents are further aware that they must cooperate and consult with each other concerning the child’s care and custody so as to minimize any disruption to the child’s schooling and activities.
RESOLUTION OF CUSTODY AND PARENTING TIME DISPUTES
The parents agree that if any differences arise from this agreement, they will first attempt to resolve these concerns amicably between themselves.
If the parents reach an impasse, they agree that they will attempt to resolve these issues through mediation before filing for Court intervention.