The Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service (Cafcass) has developed an interactive parenting tool to help separated parents co-parent safely and effectively.
The Parenting Plan has been designed to help parents resolve disputes over the care of the children. It covers practical issues of parenting, such as: living arrangements, finances, holidays, sporting activities, health and emotional care.
Cafcass has said that child safety and security are central to the revised tool, which looks to prevent disagreements from reaching the courtroom and having a negative effect on children. The plan also contains strategies for improved communication following separation.
Anthony Douglas, Cafcass’ Chief Executive, said:
Resolving a dispute about the arrangements for your child after separation, when emotions are running high, can be hard to do, which is why Cafcass, working with our partners, has developed the Parenting Plan. It builds on the previous version, which has been incredibly popular with mediators and solicitors, and is intended to help any parent, whatever their situation, develop better communications skills, to improve understanding of their child’s needs and equip parents to build a sustainable and adaptable plan.
The co-parenting plan can be completed individually or with both parents working together, and is also available as an interactive tool accessible online. The Parenting Plan is widely recognised within the courts as a valuable resolution tool.
The new version of the plan is released against the backdrop of a number of family law announcements and initiatives, designed to divert cases away from the courtroom, as outlined in the Family Justice Review. The Children and Families Bill will be introducing mandatory mediation for separating couples in April.
Edward Timpson MP, Minister for Children and Families, said:
Wherever possible, the Government wants to help parents resolve disputes about children in a positive way, without turning to the courts. I very much welcome this new plan, which is a real step forwards in giving parents the support and guidance they may need to do just that.