Québec Parenting Plans (Custody Agreements)

A parenting plan spells out how parents will handle raising their kids after their separation.

It also simplifies the custody process, whether you use an alternative dispute resolution method or go to court. It can propose your ideal parenting arrangement or detail an agreement you've reached with the other parent.

Custody X Change is software that creates professional parenting plans.

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By request, a judge can include a plan in your final judgment after a trial. It may reflect a plan submitted by one of the parents or combine both parents' proposed plans.

If you agree on a parenting plan with the other parent, you will avoid a custody trial. You'll have the option of asking the court to make the plan legally enforceable.

Parenting plan templates

Québec doesn't require you to use a certain parenting plan template.

The Custody X Change parenting plan template helps you build a comprehensive, court-ready plan. It covers the basics, plus hundreds of optional provisions to help you manage a successful co-parenting relationship.

You may instead use the Government of Canada's parenting plan template, which offers fewer provisions. You can also hire a lawyer to write a plan or create one on your own.

Required elements of a parenting plan

Québec courts require you to cover the following topics in a parenting plan:

  • Personal information
  • Parenting time
  • Exchanges
  • Parental authority
  • Communication between parents
  • Modifications

Personal information

You'll want to include the names, addresses and birth dates of both parents and the children.

Parenting time (custody)

The term parenting time is technically replaced by custody when parents aren't married. There are a few different arrangements:

  • Shared parenting time / shared custody: Each parent has the child for 40 to 60 percent of the year. This is the most common arrangement.
  • Majority parenting time / sole custody: One parent has the child for more than 60 percent of the year. If the other parent has more than 20 percent of the time, that is called prolonged visiting rights. If they have 20 percent or less, that is considered visiting rights.
  • Split parenting time / split custody: Each parent has at least one of their children for more than 80 percent of the year. This arrangement usually only applies if there are significant age gaps between the children.

Specify an arrangement in your plan, and include a parenting time schedule specifying when the child will be with each parent. You'll need to cover regular time, holidays and vacations.

Exchanges

An exchange is when the child goes from one parent's custody to the other's.

Define where you will exchange the child. This could be at a parent's home or a neutral location like a shop parking lot. The location might change depending on the day of the week or which parent is receiving the child.

In some cases, supervised exchanges might be necessary.

Parental authority

Both parents have equal rights to make child-related decisions, unless a court judgment or an agreed-upon parenting plan states otherwise.

In your plan, state what you'll do if you reach an impasse on joint decisions: go to court, consult with a mediator or another third party, etc.

Communication between parents

State how parents may contact one another about child-related issues. This might be by phone, email, text or a messaging app. Custody X Change offers co-parent messaging that detects hostile language and allows you to print records of conversations.

Modifications

As your child's needs change, you may have to adjust your plan. Will you schedule one-on-one meetings to discuss potential changes? Will you go to mediation? Put an approach in your plan now.

Optional parenting plan provisions

Adding more provisions could make managing your co-parenting relationship easier.

Schooling

State whether your child will attend a French- or English-language school.

Language

Is there a language you prefer your child to speak at home? Address it in your plan.

Communication with the child

Specify how parents will get in touch with the child during the other parent's time. You may want to put limits on how often or at what times the contact can happen.

Visits with other people

If your child will have regular visits with someone other than a parent, lay out with whom and how often. You can even include third-party time in your schedule. And you can disallow contact with certain people.

Calling the other parent before contacting a babysitter

What will happen when one parent needs someone to look after the child for a significant amount of time? State whether they must ask the other parent to watch the child first.

Relocation

Plan ahead for what you'll do if a parent changes residences. How much advance notice must a parent give before moving? How will this affect the parenting time arrangement? You can address hypothetical moves based on their distance.

Travel

Include terms for how parents will handle taking the child outside of the province. This could cover how much advance notice parents must give each other, restrictions on how far they can travel and who will be in charge of keeping the child's passport.

Transportation

Make it clear how the child will travel between each parent's home, to school and anywhere else they need to go. Can anyone besides parents transport the kid? Must the child use a safety seat? Will they ride the school bus?

Children's belongings

Specify where the child will keep clothing, toys, etc. Will these stay in the home of the parent who bought them? Is it acceptable for the child to take their belongings between homes?

Making sure you don't overlook anything

You have the freedom to tailor your parenting plan to your family's circumstances. To ensure your child's needs are fully addressed, build a thorough plan.

Custody X Change helps you do this easily. In the app, you can choose from over 140 popular provisions, as well as enter rules unique to your family.

This creates a document you can attach to a different template or use on its own.

In the end, you'll be glad you made a thorough plan that will work for you and your child for years to come.

Custody X Change is software that creates professional parenting plans.

Make My Québec Plan Now

Custody X Change is software that creates professional parenting plans.

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Custody X Change is software that creates professional parenting plans.

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