Resources to develop a parenting plan

There are many resources to help you develop a parenting plan that meets your child's needs, is developmentally appropriate, and takes into account any safety concerns.


Parenting after a separation?

Take a free online course to help you develop a parenting plan. 

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Parenting plans

These guides include information about what you and your child's other parent might consider when making a plan. These are just guides, your schedule will reflect your child's and family's needs.

  • Parenting plans at different ages from Superior Court of Los Angeles

    The Los Angeles Superior Court has information about creating a parenting plan (including sample schedules) for children under 3, from 3 to 5, 6 to 9, 10 to 13, and 14 to 18 years old.

  • Planning for parenting time from the Arizona Supreme Court

    The Arizona Supreme Court has created a Guide for Parents Living Apart with sample plans for children of different ages. It also has information for special situations, like if parents live far apart, the child has special needs, or a parent is in the military. 

  • Your court's mediator can discuss different plans

    If you and your child's other parent can't agree on a parenting plan, you can ask a judge to decide on one. Before the judge decides, you will go to mediation or child custody recommending counseling. The mediator can discuss different plans at your meeting.

  • Parenting plan online course and worksheet

    Families Change offers an online guide to help you develop a parenting plan. It includes a worksheet to help you start developing your plan.

  • Suggestions if you're concerned a parent will not follow a plan or order

    You will want a clear and detailed order that covers issues of concern. There are court forms with orders you can ask for if you're concerned a parent won't follow an order or may take your child.

Concerns about your child's safety

If you have concerns about your child's mental or physical safety when they're with the other parent, it can be difficult to make a safe parenting plan that works. There are laws, court programs, and government agencies that may be able to help. 

  • Find out about supervised visitation

    A judge can order that a parent only has contact with the child when a neutral third person is present during the visitation, often called “supervised visitation.”

  • Ask for a child custody evaluation

    If you have concerns about your child's mental or physical safety when with the other parent, a judge can order a child custody evaluation. In cases where there's a serious allegation of child abuse or sexual abuse, a judge can make temporary emergency orders to protect the child until the evaluation is finished. The child custody evaluator will contact law enforcement and child protective services and make recommendations about the needs of the child and how to ensure the child’s safety.

  • Find out about custody laws when there's a history of domestic violence

    If there's been domestic violence in your family, special laws apply when a judge makes a decision about who gets custody of your children. 

  • Contact child protective services to report abuse

    If you suspect your child's health or safety is at risk due to abuse or neglect, contact child protective services.

General parenting resources 

Online resources for parenting children while living apart. There may also be resources in your local community, like parenting classes and support groups.

  • Families Change

    Online guide for families going through separation and divorce. It has 3 versions – one for parents, one for children, and one for teens and pre-teens

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