What happens when you agree on child custody? Can you enforce a parenting plan?

What happens when you agree on child custody? Can you enforce a parenting plan?

What’s a Parenting Plan

A parenting plan is any document which is signed and agreed to by the parties and concerns parenting. Whilst there is no formal penalty for breaching a parenting plan, in many circumstances, they are a very useful document.

People use parenting plans for many reasons:

– They want to have the parenting arrangements put in writing.
– They want something in place they can rely on for guidance.
– They have parenting proceedings on foot and they want something temporary in place in the meantime.
– They can’t see or speak to the kids without one, because of a Protection Order.

When emotions are running high after a split and children are involved sometimes it’s good to have a piece of paper which clearly spells out who sees the kids and when. This is where a Family Lawyer can help you negotiate a parenting plan.

A parenting plan can be:

– Any written document, and;
– That is signed by the parties, and;
– Concerns parenting matters.


Parenting plans are not enforceable. This means they do not serve as a foolproof way to ensure the other parent complies with parenting arrangements. If a matter goes to Court, a Court may ‘have regard’ to a parenting plan. The Court might then decide how much weight to give to give to it depending on the individual circumstances.

High Conflict Relationships

Sometimes, despite whatever advice given to them by their Family Lawyer, parties remain in an intractable, never ending conflict, unable to see eye to eye with the other person. These people have a lot of difficulty co-parenting. Even in these circumstances, these types of people will benefit from an agreement which is set out very clearly and in plain English

The parties may also benefit from having clear and comprehensive parameters for communicating with each other and with the child. For example, changeover arrangements which occur prior to and after school can enable the parties in these types of relationships to avoid seeing each other, if at all!

Where to now?

Whilst they won’t always provide the security and certainty of final Court Orders, in many cases Parenting Plans help many people reach agreement in parenting arrangements. Cudmore Legal are Family Lawyers who can work with you to develop a Parenting Plan suited to your needs. Book a free consultation.

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