Parenting plan checklist

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Although you will work through a care and contact plan together during your joint FDR mediation session, it can be helpful to have clarity around your own ideal outcomes beforehand.  So here is a checklist that may help.

When considering each point, remember that your children need both parents in their lives regardless of the issues in your relationship. They also need their family / whānau; having grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and friends in their life is just as important to their emotional wellbeing.

This helpful checklist is taken from the Ministry of Justice website:

Living arrangements

How will the children spend time with each of you and where will they live? It should include the children’s routine on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Contact arrangements

When the children are staying with one of you, what contact will they have with the parent?

When will the children spend time with other important family/whānau and friends?


Will changeovers sometimes take place at school (for example, one parent drops off the children at school in the morning, the other parent picks up the children from school in the afternoon) and on what days?

How will the children get from one household to the other?

How you will deal with special occasions?

Birthdays (children’s and parents’)

Mother’s/Father’s Day

Long weekends and other public holidays

Christmas and other festivals.


Who will the children spend their holiday time with and who will make any travel arrangements?

Is one parent able to take the children out of the country for a holiday? If so, who makes the travel arrangements and how will the other parent be contacted?

What schools will the children go to?

Will the children be able to stay at the same school?

Who will tell the school that the children’s family circumstances have changed?

Who will go to parent–teacher interviews, parents’ evenings and other school events?

When the children get older, and the time comes for a change of school, how will this be agreed?

Can the children receive sex education at school?

How are decisions going to be made about choosing course subjects?

How will you know about progress at school and who will tell the school that reports and notices need to be sent to both of you?

Who will look after the children during teacher-only days and other short school days?

Special cultural and religious matters

Are the children to go to church and which one?

Can the children receive religious instruction at school?

Medical or health

How will special medical or health matters be dealt with?