Parenting Plans

Stouffville Divorce Lawyers assisting with Parenting Plans & Schedules 

A parenting plan refers to a document setting out the time a child will spend with each parent and each parent’s decision-making ability with respect to their child. A couple can create and sign their own plan as part of an alternative dispute resolution process, such as collaborative family law or mediation. If a couple is unable to come to terms with respect to parenting matters, the parenting arrangements may be imposed by a judge as part of a court order.

A comprehensive parenting plan will ensure there is little room for ambiguity, clearly setting out each parent’s rights and obligations. This is particularly important in high-conflict situations where a lack of detail could lead to further disagreement.

A Collaborative Approach to Parenting 

At Shariff & Associates, our lawyers believe most family disputes should be resolved with an emphasis on reducing aggression and conflict. Ultimately, parents want to ensure their children are well cared for and happy. This can sometimes get lost in situations where there is a lot of anger, and it can be easy to default to aggressive tactics. As your family law advocates, we’ll provide you with an objective perspective in these situations, and reduce the stress often involved in a parenting dispute.

Our team of compassionate lawyers works with each of our clients to resolve conflict as quickly as possible and keep the focus on resolution. Romaana Shariff is trained in the collaborative family law process. We keep clients focused on moving a matter forward, working as a team with all parties to find solutions and reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

What Should be Included in a Comprehensive Parenting Plan? 

Clarity is key when it comes to a parenting plan, to ensure each parent is acutely aware of their rights and responsibilities. A parenting plan will set out the specific terms around the time each parent spends with their child and how parenting decisions will be made. No detail is too small to include in a parenting plan if it can help clarify matters for each party. An effective plan should also look ahead to the future, to consider how the plan may need to change as the child’s needs evolve.

At a minimum, a parenting plan should consider the following:

Parenting Time 

  • How much time the child will spend with each parent;
  • Where the child will be on specific days of the week, holiday, and summer arrangements; and
  • Drop-off and pick-up schedules and locations.


  • Responsibility for making major decisions about the child such as religious upbringing, culture and language, education, and medical matters;
  • Day-to-day decisions such as bedtime, activities, and diet that parents feel are particularly important; and
  • A protocol for resolving decision-making conflicts if both parents share decision-making input.

Communication Between Parents 

  • Communication preferences for each parent;
  • How and when to communicate issues to the other co-parent; and
  • Notice regarding minor or temporary changes to the parenting plan.

Additional Parenting Plan Considerations

  • Contact between the child and other family members, such as grandparents;
  • Disciplinary measures to ensure consistency for the child; and
  • Events that may trigger a significant change to the parenting plan.

Contact the Family Lawyers at Shariff & Associates for Parenting Plans & Schedules 

The compassionate lawyers at Shariff & Associates work with clients throughout York Region, Durham Region, Markham, Ajax, and Uxbridge to help create a workable and adaptive parenting plan. We will advise on specific items to include and help to ensure the process is as conflict-free as possible.

We place an emphasis on maintaining a healthy family dynamic for all, no matter how much conflict may exist between the parents. We will help keep you focused on establishing a plan that will benefit you and your children over the long term. To review your matter with a member of our team, please reach out to us online, or call us at 905-591-4545.

Recent Blog Posts