Parenting Plans Overview

Where to start:

Making a parenting plan or custody agreement
What to include in a parenting plan. Things to consider when making a plan.

Location-specific parenting plan examples: US, Canada, UK, Australia
Every location has different parenting plan guidelines, so we research across countries, states and provinces. Choose your location to learn more.

Child custody agreement template
The printable child custody agreement from Custody X Change is thorough yet simple to complete. See why it's the best template you'll find.

Visitation agreement template
How the Custody X Change parenting plan template helps you make visitation schedules.

Creating the perfect parenting agreement
The logistics of making a plan, plus information on how to make it official and assess how well it works.

Preparing a parenting plan for court
Mistakes to avoid, and what to do if the other parent won't cooperate.

Guidelines for effective parenting plans
Your parenting plan needs to include these four goals in order to be effective.

Figuring out vacations in your parenting plan
Your parenting plan should specify schedules for school breaks and vacations.

Parenting plan checklist
19 topics to include in your parenting plan. Use this checklist to make a plan you can bring to mediation, negotiations or court.

Types of plans:

Basic custody agreements
Here are the basic components of a custody agreement.

Standard custody agreements
A standard custody agreement provides parents with basic parental rights and the accepted minimum amount of time with their child.

Examining standard parenting plans
Standard parenting plans have 10 required components. But a parenting plan should be tailored to meet the child's best interests, so you may need additional elements.

Step-up parenting plans
A step-up parenting plan changes as your child ages, and ensures the noncustodial parent is fit to participate in the child's life. Find out how to create one using the Custody X Change app.

Temporary parenting plans
Information about making a temporary parenting plan and custody schedule.

Creating a child custody agreement — joint or sole
What to put in a joint or sole custody agreement, and how to make it official.

Joint custody agreements
Joint custody has different connotations. Here's what you need to know about it, regardless of where you live.

Shared custody agreements
Sharing custody is the best way to help your child have a good relationship with both parents, so in most cases you should work with the other parent to create a shared custody agreement.

Making shared parenting plans work for your family
Know the pros and cons of a shared parenting plan.

Sole custody agreements: 7 reasons for sole custody
Children benefit from spending time with both parents. However, joint custody is not appropriate for every situation.

Creating a sole custody parenting plan
A sole custody parenting plan outlines the responsibilities of both parents, as well as the visitation rights of the noncustodial parent.

Negotiating a plan:

Negotiating a parenting plan successfully
Here are some ways to prepare for custody negotiations.

Advantages to negotiating your parenting plan
You should never accept a parenting plan that has not been customized for your children. Rather, negotiate a plan that is ideal for your family.

Preparing a custody agreement for mediation
Mediation is an opportunity to sit down with the other parent and work through issues. Make it as productive as possible by bringing a custody proposal.

Insight into preparing a parenting plan for mediation
Seriously consider preparing a parenting plan for mediation so you can get your opinions about raising your children into the decision-making process.

Preparing a sample parenting plan for mediation
Although mediation takes place outside of the courtroom, you should still prepare a parenting plan for mediation. Here's why.

Modifying and enforcing a plan:

Should you ever revisit your parenting plan?
Six family law experts weigh in on amending your parenting plan.

Modifying your parenting plan effectively
You're allowed to modify a parenting plan once it is approved in family court as long as you can show that the current plan no longer meets your children's needs.

How to handle a co-parent who is sabotaging your parenting plan
How to deal with an unsatisfied parent's attempts to override your parenting plan.

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.

Make My Plan



Long distance schedules

Third party schedules


Summer break

Parenting provisions


How to make a schedule

Factors to consider

Parenting plans:

Making a parenting plan

Changing your plan

Interstate, long distance

Temporary plans

Guides by location:

Parenting plans

Scheduling guidelines

Child support calculators

Age guidelines:

Birth to 18 months

18 months to 3 years

3 to 5 years

5 to 13 years

13 to 18 years


Joint physical custody

Sole physical custody

Joint legal custody

Sole legal custody

Product features:

Software overview

Printable calendars

Parenting plan templates

Journal what happens

Expense sharing

Parenting time tracking

Calculate time & overnights

Ways to use:

Succeed by negotiating

Prepare for mediation

Get ready for court