New Brunswick Parenting Plans (Custody Agreements)

In New Brunswick, parents who are divorcing or separating should create a parenting plan whether or not they agree on parenting arrangements.

When going to court, you each submit a plan that explains the parenting arrangement you believe is best for your child.

When you reach an agreement, you create a parenting plan together that details what you agree is the best way to raise your children. It is one part of a domestic contract or separation agreement. You can keep the plan private or ask the court to incorporate the terms into a consent order. In the latter case, both parents must sign the plan before a witness or with their lawyers.

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Writing your parenting plan

New Brunswick parents can draft their own parenting plan, have a lawyer do it, or use a template.

The Department of Justice Canada parenting plan tool helps you build a basic parenting plan, but you'll receive it in the body of an email and won't be able to save your progress.

The Custody X Change parenting plan template allows you to create a plan at your own pace with over 140 preloaded provisions and the option to create your own provisions. You'll get an organized, court-ready plan you can download and print.

What you must include in your parenting plan

Your parenting plan must explain parenting time, decision-making responsibility and child support.

Parenting time

Parenting time designates when the child will be in a parent's care.

There are three types of parenting time:

  • Majority parenting time places the child with one parent for more than 60 percent of the year.
  • Shared parenting time places the child with each parent for at least 40 percent of the year.
  • Split parenting time places at least one child in each parent's household for more than 60 percent of the year.

It's recommended that you include a parenting time schedule explaining who will have the children daily and during holidays and vacations. Some parents on particularly good terms forgo a schedule and follow a routine that is not written.

Decision-making responsibility

By default, parents have joint decision-making responsibility, meaning both can weigh in on child-related decisions. If you want a different arrangement, explain it in your plan.

If you choose to keep joint decision-making powers, you can add details. For example, you can specify which decisions parents are allowed to make on their own and which require the input of both parents.

Child support

Child support is the responsibility of the parent who spends less time with the child — or, if parents have near-equal parenting time, the higher-earning parent typically pays.

Use the child support guideline to determine your support amount. If you want your agreement to be written into a court order, the amount must match the guideline exactly. Account for special expenses, such as the child's school uniform, extracurriculars, etc. if they apply.

Enhancing your plan with more provisions

Avoid arguments. Go beyond the basics of a standard parenting plan to account for every possibility. Here are some possible provisions to include.


You can add in terms like how much advance notice parents must give before travelling with the child and whether they must provide an itinerary. If you expect to travel internationally, specify who will be in charge of the child's passport and other necessary documentation.

Keep in mind that in New Brunswick, taking and hiding a child under 14 is a crime. Clear agreements about travel can prevent you from being accused of taking your child.


Detail how parents will communicate with one another and the child.

Some parents may communicate better through a co-parenting app and texting than via phone calls.

For the children, specify things like appropriate times to call the children on a school night and whether parents must encourage the child to contact the other parent while away.


State how the children will get to and from visits. Commonly, the parent with the children is responsible for getting them to the other parent's home. You may also state who else other than parents can transport the children.

Third-party childcare

Require parents to share the contact information of anyone who cares for the children. You could require that parents contact one another before asking a third party to watch the children.


To keep some consistency in child-rearing, state how you will discipline the children. For example, if the child loses phone privileges in one home, must the other parent enforce the same?

Introducing new partners to the children

Set ground rules for any new partners' involvement in your children's lives. Consider when it is appropriate for the children to meet the new partner (e.g., after the other parent meets them) and how the partner may interact with the child (e.g., taking them to school).

Shared expenses

State the expenses not covered by child support that parents will split. Keep track of purchases and reimbursements so you'll always know what you owe or should be getting back.

Modifying your plan

Plan ahead in case there are changes that require you to adjust the terms of your plan. You may:

  • Set a specific date when you will review the plan.
  • Specify scenarios that require modifications.
  • Stipulate that you will try mediation to negotiate changes before resorting to court.

If you want to update your consent order, complete a Consent Motion to Change and provide a copy to the other parent. Prepare your revised agreement (preferably with your lawyers) and sign it. File your paperwork with the court.

The easiest way to make a parenting plan

When you're writing a parenting plan, it's critical you use airtight language that leaves no room for interpretation.

If you hire a lawyer, they'll write up the plan and ensure it meets the court's requirements.

If you write your own plan, use technology to take guesswork out of the equation. The parenting plan template in the Custody X Change online app walks you through each step.

The result is a professional document that demonstrates your competence as a parent from the first glance.

The easiest and most reliable way to make a parenting plan is with Custody X Change.

Visualize your schedule. Get a written parenting plan. Calculate your parenting time.

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Explore examples of common schedules

Explore common schedules

Join the 60,000+ other parents who have used our co-parenting tools

Organize your evidence

Track your expenses, journal what happens, and record actual time. Print organized, professional documents.

Co-parent civilly

Our parent-to-parent messaging system, which detects hostile language, lets you collaborate without the drama.

Get an accurate child support order

Child support is based on parenting time or overnights in most jurisdictions. Calculate time instead of estimating.

Succeed by negotiating

Explore options together with visual calendars and detailed parenting plans. Present alternatives and reach agreement.

Never forget an exchange or activity

Get push notifications and email reminders, sync with other calendar apps and share with the other parent.

Save up to $50,000 by avoiding court

Write your parenting agreement without lawyers. Our templates walk you through each step.

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