Free Parenting plan template online in Word & PDF

July 31, 2023 2.6K views

Are you a divorced parent having custody issues with your co-parent? So, if you're wondering how to solve those issues, get yourselves the Best Free Parenting Plan Templates!


When parents are no longer living together or have divorced, it is important to understand who is responsible for what now that they have different living arrangements. The terms of a parenting plan are frequently negotiated and included in the separation or divorce agreement.

Some parents opt to complete two distinct Parenting Plans and present them to the court for consideration. In contrast, other parents choose to work together to agree on parenting arrangements before completing and signing the plan. This article will teach you the most useful, effective, and Free Parenting Plan Templates, so keep reading!

What is a Parenting Plan Template?

Divorce or separation can be hard on a child. By defining explicit parenting expectations and obligations, a Parenting Plan helps lessen parental conflict. The document can help both parents and children develop an optimal parenting setting.

A parenting plan details how separated, or divorced parents will raise their children. This Parenting Plan Template helps design a plan. Each plan should match the parents' wants and circumstances.

This template offers thoughts and possibilities for provisions you and your advisors may wish to consider and adapt. Both parents should prepare a parenting plan jointly, typically with the help of lawyers, mediators, or mental health specialists. If you can't collaborate with the other parent to create a parenting plan, prepare your document and present it as a proposal. Being precise about your parenting plan goals can help reveal differences and similarities among parents.

One parent proposing a parenting plan can help reach an agreement. A parenting plan made by one parent might be beneficial in court to illustrate what that parent wants and how they would support and include the other parent with the child. One parent's parenting plan won't bind the other.

Why Do You Need Parenting Plan Templates?

Several families have adopted parenting plans to manage the challenges of co-parenting better. They also facilitate communication between parents, allowing everyone to share the same vision for their children's development. If both parents work together to care for their children, it can be helpful to have a strategy in place, especially if the kids spend time at each parent's house.

A parenting plan is generally viewed favorably by the courts. More so when the plan provides multiple options to pick from. This demonstrates adaptability, an ability to maintain order, and an eagerness to be involved in providing the best possible care for one's child. Children of divorcing parents often find themselves caught in the crossfire of their parents' bitter disputes and power struggles; these thorough arrangements can help mitigate some of this tension. Additionally, it might allow for discussions between the attorneys for both sides.

How To Draft Parenting Plan Templates?

You can construct a Parenting Plan on your own; however, it is recommended that you get the advice of an experienced family lawyer. Because parents have the best understanding of their children's requirements, the courts in many states favor the parents' submission of a Parenting Plan.

Stage 1: Enter Information about the Parents and Children

In this section, please include the names, contact information, initials, birthdates of your children, and both of your parent's names.

Stage 2: Specify custody rights

Please provide specific information regarding the legal and physical custody of your child (ren). Several different custody arrangements can be made:

· Sole Custody: When one parent has sole legal custody of a kid, that parent retains the right to make all legal decisions about the child, including health care, education, religion, and many other topics.

· Joint Custody: If both parents want to be involved in the decision-making process for their child's upbringing, they can choose to have what is known as joint legal custody, in which case they will each have an equal say in the child's legal affairs. This may include the child's health care choices, educational opportunities, and religious upbringing.

· Sole Physical Custody: Determines who the child lives with and describes visitation rights for the parent who does not have primary custody of the child. A parent who does not have primary custody of the child has sole physical custody of the child. This section typically contains the parties' agreements about cost-sharing and child support obligations. ‌

· Sole Joint Custody: Both parents spend an equal amount of time or a significant amount of time with the child and take turns being responsible for their child's health and safety. This type of custody is known as joint physical custody.

Stage 3: Devise a parenting/visiting schedule

You need to Indicate visitation privileges if one parent has sole or main physical custody. Your parenting plan should contain a schedule detailing the number of overnights and times the kid will spend with each parent if you share physical custody.

1. Joint Custody

How far apart the parents reside and how exchanges work affect the optimum parenting routine. In joint custody cases, each parent spends equal time with their child(ren) without interrupting their physical and emotional requirements.  Joint custody examples include:

· week-by-week visits

· This plan lets parents spend half the week and alternate long weekends with their child (ren)

· Alternating midweek and overnight visits

· You can ask the court to amend parenting schedules if children's needs and schedules change.

2. Holiday Schedule

The important holidays and school vacations your child or children will spend with each parent should also be outlined in the Parenting Plan you create for them.

Stage 4: Establishing Parental Duties and Privileges

Co-parents can use this part to outline their rights to see their children in day-to-day activities, such as school sports and emergencies, using the language of the section.

Your plan should also explicitly state the circumstances under which one parent is expected to contact the other and how they will share the information. For instance, if it is necessary to decide on the child's medical care.

This section can also contain any additional clauses you would like to put in the agreement depending on your family's requirements.

Stage 5: Establish Financial Plans

Your parenting plan must include the following details:

1. How the child's expenses will be divided between the child's two or more parents?

2. Who will file tax returns listing the child or children as dependents, if anyone?

3. Who will be responsible for providing health insurance for the child or children?

The amount of child support the parent who does not have primary physical custody of the child will be required to pay each month should be outlined in the Parenting Plan, if appropriate.

Stage 6: Legally Sign the Paperwork in Your State

Check your state's regulations to see if you are required to sign the Parenting Plan in front of witnesses or notary public before you can do so.  Even if it is not needed, having witnesses present during the signing of an agreement might be beneficial if a dispute occurs.

Even though you can create a Parenting Plan from scratch, you might find that working from a template makes the process more manageable. You are welcome to use our no-cost, easily printable template for a parenting plan, which may act as a manual for the myriad of critical aspects that must be incorporated into the arrangement. You also can use our Stage-by-Stage form builder, which enables you to construct a plan specific to your needs.

Components of a Parenting Plan Template

The following are components that are typically included in a Parenting Plan:

· Custody arrangements

· Visitation and parenting time schedules

· Calendar of the holidays

· Concerning medical choices and health insurance

· Conversations between the various parents

· Child support/expenses

· Other conditions as negotiated between the parents

When formulating a parenting plan, it is important to be as specific as possible to ensure that both parents know the precise actions required in various scenarios.

[Bonus Section]: Important Things to Know About Creating a Parenting Plan

Tip #1: Create a Parenting Plan Early On

It is in your child's best interest to have it established as soon as possible after a divorce or separation, as this will reduce the amount of unnecessary disruption to their routine and benefit their general health.

Tip #2: Take into account the desires of your kid(s).

Even while young kids might not comprehend the concept of separation, older kids, such as teenagers, are more likely to wish to express their individual preferences and requirements. It is strongly recommended that you do not make significant choices, such as where they will spend Christmas, without consulting them first.

Tip #3: Stick to one method of communication while communicating with your co-parent.

When discussing issues or sharing schedules and calendars, it might be good to specify how the parents would communicate since specifying a method of communication can be helpful. You can centralize your discussions by deciding where communications will take place. This will be necessary to refer to in court if an issue arises.

[Recommendation] Top 5 Parenting Plan Templates You Can Use— Try WPS Templates!

Parents have the most in-depth understanding of their children's requirements and strengths as a parent. Both parents' abilities to provide for their child's needs should be considered while formulating a parenting plan.

Please use the following 5 free parenting plans as a starting point for a meaningful conversation about the specifics of your situation and your child's needs to craft a parenting plan that will assist ease the transition for everyone involved.

1. Weekly Schedule Curriculum

A weekly curriculum plan that follows a weekly schedule takes into account everything from the availability of each parent to visitation timetables. It also provides how the parents will communicate with one another and schedule their children's week.

2. OKR Spreadsheet Weekly Checklist

Do you like a parenting plan that is more streamlined and to the point? If such is the case, then you should use this checklist version. You can create a category for each aspect of your child's care and then determine

3. General Weekly Schedule

This plan works wonderfully for co-parenting couples with unique circumstances or very complex agreements. The parents divide the weekly segment between choosing who would be responsible for the child on which day. In addition, every parent will have their very own section after that. This lays out in minute detail all that they are accountable for throughout the upcoming week regarding their finances and parental responsibilities.

4. Useful Weekly Lesson Plan

How do you choose among the free parenting plan templates online? A parenting plan ensures that children are cared for and that both parents have a healthy relationship. This parenting plan template ensures a smooth divorce and beyond. Using this parenting parent, you and your co-parent can list down the weekly schedules of your child following your schedules and coordinate accordingly.

This plan will also help determine how parents share the child's responsibilities and finances. And how both of you will manage time and your child's needs.

5. Simple Weekly Schedule

This weekly schedule plan will assist you in developing an all-encompassing parenting strategy for your family's needs, beginning with your kids. Even if your state does not mandate it as part of the divorce process, it may be in the best interest of any co-parenting pair to create basic weekly plans to clear up any misunderstandings that may arise.

It is possible to prevent many disagreements between parents who do not live together if significant issues such as visitation, medical care, daily care, schooling, and financial contributions are discussed and agreed upon, and this template facilitates that process.


The decision to divorce or separate can be an emotionally trying time for everyone involved, and there are many different reasons why this is the case.

Remember that not every strategy will work in the situation you are in. Suppose you wish to utilize the document in legal proceedings. In that case, you are responsible for ensuring that it satisfies the requirements that your state has set down for the composition of written parenting plans.

Download WPS office to try the parenting plan template helps break down challenges and clarify the many facets of shared parenting.

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