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COVID-19: Example parenting plan

This example parenting plan can be used

  • if you are making a parenting plan for the first time
  • if you have court orders

Between __________________________________

Mother

And __________________________________

Father

Date __________

GENERAL AGREEMENT

The mother (name) and the father (name) agree they will work together as parents to do all they can to promote the health and safety of their children (name) born … and (name) born … during the COVID-19 pandemic and agree to keep the children at their home if they can.

They will also do all they can to maintain the children’s safe and secure relationships with family members at this time.

They will also do all they can to minimise dispute between them and if they require any assistance they will use telephone mediation services.

The parents agree that this parenting plan is for parenting arrangements for the children during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they agree to work together after the pandemic to discuss future parenting arrangements.

BY CONSENT

The mother and the father agree to the following:

LIVE WITH AND TIME WITH ARRANGEMENTS

Option 1 – if you don’t have court orders

  1. The children shall live with parent 1 and spend time with parent 2 as follows: (provide details, for example: Monday to Wednesday in week 1 and on Thursday to Sunday in week 2 and changeovers are to occur at the park across from parent 1’s home)
  1. If either parent 1 or parent 2 is required to self-isolate because of Commonwealth or NSW Health directives,
  1. -EITHER the children are to remain with the self-isolating parent until the end of the self-isolation period
  2. -OR the children are to spend time with the other parent, and that parent and the children are to self-isolate for as long as directed to by Commonwealth or NSW health agencies.
  1. If the children are not able to spend time with either parent, the children will maintain their relationship with the other parent by;
    1. Facetime, Skype, or WhatsApp every second day from… to ..
    2. By liberal telephone contact …
    3. By mail
  1. If neither parent can care for the children during this time, both parents agree that the children can stay with [for example the father’s sister, Aunty Sue, and Aunty Sue] has agreed to have the children stay with her if they need to during COVID-19.
  1. At the end of any self-isolation period, Clause 1 is to continue.

Option 2- if you have court orders and will continue to follow them

The parents will strictly follow the orders of the court made on (date) and isolate the children to each-others homes and otherwise comply with Commonwealth and NSW public health directives.

Option 3 if you have Court orders and want to vary them

The parents will follow the orders of (date) in terms of the children living with (parent 1) however time with (parent 2) will be suspended during the COVID19 emergency period and in the alternative the children shall maintain their relationship with the other (parent

  1. By Facetime, Skype, or WhatsApp every second day from … to ..
  2. By liberal telephone contact
  3. By mail

COMMUNICATION ABOUT COVID-19

The parents will keep each other advised as follows:

  1. Immediately upon any household member testing positive to COVID-19.
  2. Immediately upon any of the children being subjected to COVID-19 testing.
  3. Immediately upon knowledge of the children being exposed to any person who has tested positive to COVID-19.

SPECIAL FAMILY ARRANGEMENTS

That during this time both parents will try to keep life normal and happy for the children. To achieve this both shall allow the other parent to:

  1. Telephone in the evening and read the children a story before bed.
  2. Face time the children and participate in some exercise by dancing to music the children enjoy at lunch time each day.
  3. Send the children gifts and items by post.
  4. Help the children send the other parent drawings and messages by post.
  5. Arrange the children to contact both sets of grandparents each week by Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp, email or telephone.

Signed by mother (if possible) Signed by father (if possible)

_________________________________ _________________________________

If you are unable to print out and sign and send back to the other parent, then you can send the text of the agreement in an email to the other parent, or take a photo of it and confirm that you agree to it in a text message or WhatsApp message to the other parent.

___________________________________________________________________________

How can I get help?

For free legal help call 1300 888 529 or call your local Legal Aid NSW office.

If you need an interpreter, call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 and ask for Law Access NSW. If you find it hard to hear or speak, call the National Relay Service on 133 677 and ask for Law Access NSW or visit www.relayservice.gov.au.

This factsheet is intended as a general guide to the law. Do not rely on this information as legal advice. We recommend you talk to a lawyer about your situation. This information is correct at the time of writing, however, it may change.

CVFAM10 | 9 April 2020 | © Legal Aid NSW

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