Parenting Plan Template Examples: 6 Common Provisions

To begin making your parenting plan, you can look at some parenting plan template examples to help you get started. Here are some basic issues that you should cover when making your plan.

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The Child’s Residence

Choosing where the child lives can be one of the more difficult issues that you discuss. This decision must be made with the child’s best interest in mind. Generally, a plan will work better if both parents support where the child lives because there will be less fighting in the future and the parents won’t have to go to court. You can have the child live primarily with one parent, have the child split time between both parents’ homes, or have the child live in one home while the mother and father alternate time there (this is commonly called bird nesting). You must come up with a schedule that outlines when the child is with each parent. You should also determine where the child will be during holidays. (Look at some parenting time calendar examples to get started on your schedule.)

Legal Custody

Legal custody is the right and responsibility that parents have to make decisions for their children. You need to make some sort of plan for how you and the other parent plan to divide or share this responsibility. A mother and father can both share legal custody, or the full responsibility can be given to one parent. If you decide to share legal custody, you need to determine how it is shared. You can give each parent certain categories to be responsible, both parents can discuss and agree on major decisions, the parents can be responsible for decisions when they have the child, etc.

Health Care

You must decide how you and the other parent will continue to provide medical and dental care for the child. This means that you must determine how the child will be covered by insurance, how you will pay medical expenses, how you will choose medical providers, and what you will do in a medical emergency.

Standards for Raising the Child

Children need consistency, and you and the child’s other parent must work together so the child has some consistency. There will be differences between the parents’ homes, but you can establish some guidelines in your parenting plan for raising the child. These guidelines can be common rules the households will share, like the requirement that the child always wears a seat belt in the car. The guidelines can also be rules about how parents will share information about the children.


You must talk about the child’s education with the other parent and make some plans. In addition to discussing what school the child will attend, you need to determine how you will let your child participate in extra-curricular activities. You must also decide how you will pay for school expenses and extra-curricular expenses.  It is a good idea to come up with a plan for how you will both be involved in the child’s schooling–how you will participate in parent-teacher conferences, how you will handle problems should they come up, etc.

Resolving Disputes and Making Changes to the Plan

You should put provisions into the plan about how they will resolve future disputes and make changes to the plan. The idea behind this is to come up with a system that keeps you and the other parent out of court. You need to have some way that you will work out your differences. You can agree to go to mediation, follow a step-by-step procedure, or do anything else that will help. As your child grows older, it will be necessary to make changes to the plan so it better fits the child. Again, you need to have a system for how you will make those changes.

Custody X Change is software that creates professional parenting plan documents and parenting schedules.

Make My Schedule and Plan Now

Custody X Change is software that creates professional parenting plan documents and parenting schedules.

Make My Plan