A parenting plan is simply an agreement between parents about the children that is signed and dated by each parent. Shared parenting plans are developed by parents.
Even though parenting plans are not Court Orders, they still have some legal power. That is, parenting plans can be shown to third parties, such as the Courts, Centrelink and the Child Support Agency, who can make decisions based on those parenting plans. Parenting plans can have a significant impact.
There is no specific requirement that parenting arrangements look a certain way (eg, 50/50 time with the children). The law requires us to look at the best interests of the child first and foremost. This means that, if the children can be kept safe, they are entitled to a meaningful relationship with each parent. A meaningful relationship will be different for each family.
In mediation, we often see that parents have different ideas about what they think is in their child’s best interest. This is okay. Parents who are still together often have different ideas as well. A good Mediator manages this on a regular basis. We will work with both parents to assist you to navigate these positions to see whether there is any opportunity to reach agreement. That is our job.