If you decide to divorce as parents, it is compulsory since 1 March 2009 to draw up a parental plan. What should you pay attention to? What needs to be recorded, what are the costs and who can do it for you?
What is a parenting plan?
The parental plan is a scheme in which parents who disband (eg a divorce or dissolution of a registered partnership) make agreements about their minor children. This contains agreements about the care and upbringing of the children. Married and registered parents are legally obliged to do so. This also applies to cohabiting parents with joint authority.
Care arrangement or access regulation
The care or access regulation is part of the parental plan. Parents with joint parental authority agree on a care arrangement. This regulation contains agreements about how parents divide the care tasks and upbringing tasks.
If one parent has authority, the parents agree to a contact arrangement. The parent without authority is not responsible for the care and upbringing of the child, but has the right to see his child.
Establish parental plan
Parents can draw up a parental plan together. In some cases you can compose these online together. If you can not manage it, you can use a mediator. On the site of the jurophone you will find a lot of information about good mediation in drawing up a parental plan and the costs.
What should all be in a parenting plan if it is drawn up?
A parenting plan includes all matters that concern the children. These must be arranged in advance as well as possible. Think of where the children come to live, how often they are with one parent and how often with the other person, who cares for them, where they stay, sports activities, medical care and the holiday distribution between the parents. Also consider how celebrating the birthday is done, all sorts of money matters, how often the parents inform each other about what matters, who gets the children from school and brings and not forgetting the child support. At the minimum, the division of caring duties and upbringing tasks and the right and obligation to deal with the child, the costs of care and upbringing of the minor children and the way in which you, as parents, inform each other and discuss important matters of the children . It is also desirable for children to contribute to the parenting plan.
Consequences in case of non-compliance with a parenting plan
When children are involved in the divorce, the judge will not pronounce the dissolution of the marriage if there is no parenting plan. The judge will then appoint a mediator who will mediate between the two parents. It is simply an obligation to make a good parenting plan. You are also obliged to fulfill the agreements made about the children after making the parenting plan. If the agreements are not met, the other parent can go to court to enforce this or impose a fine.
In all considerations, the interests and well-being of the child must be paramount in the choices that are made. Do not remove old cows from the ditch and limit yourself to discussing the upbringing, as recorded in the plan. You must also adhere strictly to the parental plan to prevent disagreement, even if the other parent does not. Keep the interests of the children in mind when talking to your ex-partner. It is often a matter of giving and taking good agreements and a successful relationship.
Experience from practice
A mother (41) shares her experience with us in drawing up a parenting plan:
"I divorced last year. I had received an example of covenant through my lawyer. I have adjusted this with our own personal details. Most of the work is actually in the distribution of holidays, birthdays and holidays.
In my case, I made the parenting plan. I went through with my lawyer and then that plan was sent to my ex. He never responded to it.
My eldest is almost 13 and he received a letter from the juvenile court with a very clear explanation of why he received a letter and what was expected of him. Then he had the choice to respond by means of a letter or to have a conversation with the juvenile court. It was all explained in very clear, intelligible language. My son then wanted to know what the parenting plan looked like. I then went through that with him.
During the hearing at the juvenile court my ex was found to comment on the parenting plan. At that time it appeared that the representative of the Council for child protection had an important voice.
In my opinion, it is true that you can make a parental plan as extensive or specific as you want, depending on how you can communicate with your ex. The more difficult it is, the more the need exists to clearly state as much as possible in the parental plan ".
Another mother (39) also shares her experience with us about the parental plan:
"We set up the parental plan with the help of a mediator who also arranged the technical separation. So she was a mediator and a lawyer. We made the parenting plan on the basis of an example that she gave us. I also asked for advice from a number of other people, who also had a parenting plan. Then you know what better to look out for. The separation and all the emotions that come with it are already heavy enough in that period. The mediator is thus the only one we have enabled. Costs are income-dependent. In my case that was € 0, -. My ex has paid around € 800, -.
Our daughter was still very young at the time this was playing. Three years to be precise when the divorce was pronounced. She had no voice, except two parents who wanted to get out together and her interests were paramount. What you notice while making the plan is that the differences and difficulties you encountered in your marriage also affect this process. Especially the differences we had about her upbringing and how we stand in life came forward. Fortunately we cycled fairly quickly through and are satisfied with the plan. Afterwards you notice that it does not really matter what is in that plan. That is almost obsolete and out of date when you look at it the first time. Especially aspects about distribution in time came forward. Birthdays, family visits, what to do if one of the two dies. What to do with gifts, school, consultation moments.
For the future it is a guideline for us that we have not needed so far. The consultation we have and the way we deal with each other are for now the most important starting points besides her interest and what she is starting to report. "
A general fact remains that it is important to be "on speaking terms" with each other in order to reach good agreements. This is often difficult because disassembling involves a lot of emotions. As a parent, try to take your responsibility and put the wishes and interests of your child (ren) first. If this does not work, do not fight it, but seek outside help.