Decatur Family Law and Probate Attorney

Why you should put your parenting plan into writing

On Behalf of | Aug 31, 2023 | Divorce

When parents decide to part ways, they should have a clear and comprehensive plan in place for how they will co-parent their children. A written parenting plan provides structure, clarity and a reference point for everyone involved, leading to smoother co-parenting and reduced conflicts.

Putting this plan into writing might seem like an extra step, but it greatly benefits both the parents and the children.

Clear communication

A written parenting plan serves as a communication tool between parents. It outlines the responsibilities and expectations of each parent, ensuring that both parties are on the same page. Without a written plan, misunderstandings can arise, leading to confusion and potential disagreements.


Children thrive on consistency and stability. A written parenting plan creates a stable framework for their routines and schedules. This consistency provides a sense of security for the children, as they know what to expect from each parent. A written plan can include details about visitation schedules, holidays, vacations and daily routines.

Legal protection

While a written parenting plan does not require legal intervention, it can offer some level of legal protection. When both parents sign the plan, it becomes a documented agreement. This means that if conflicts arise in the future, there will be a clear record of the rights and responsibilities each parent agreed to accept.

Conflict resolution

Conflicts are nearly inevitable in co-parenting situations. However, a written parenting plan can help manage and resolve these conflicts. If a disagreement arises, both parents can refer to the written plan and use it as a basis for discussion. This can help keep emotions in check and prevent arguments from escalating.

Statistics show that about 40% of children will experience parental divorce by the time they turn 16. Additionally, children of divorced parents are 50% more likely to develop psychological issues. Having a clear and easy-to-follow parenting plan can help with smoothing over any potential problems that might arise.