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Old 09-26-2011, 10:25 AM
Ames Ames is offline
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Default Please Help with Parenting Agreement

I have been asking my ex if we could draft a parenting agreement between us, so that we can both be on the same page about visitation, custody, child support, holidays, and things like that. I am hoping that this will avoid confusion and disappointment.

Today he found a template online and filled it out and sent to to me asking me to look it over. Since I have had no legal advice thus far (I will make a trip to the FLIC office hopefully next week, when I don't have to watch my nephew), I was hoping that I could get some input about what he sent me. A couple of things are jumping out at me, but I am not confident that they are right or wrong, etc.

Here is what he sent me:

Parenting Plan Agreement

Made the day of 2011
EX NAME of the City of CITY, in the Province of Ontario
MY NAME of the City of CITY, in the Province of Ontario
SON 1 and SON 2

Once signed and witnessed, this agreement may be amended or varied by a court order, or by written agreement between EX NAME and MY NAME. When executed this agreement is a domestic contract, without need to file in a court unless requested as evidence.

I. Primary Residence

EX NAME and MY NAME shall have joint custody to SON 1 and SON 2. MY NAME shall have primary residency of the children.
Unless both live in the same city where primary residency will be split between either parties; or the children are mature enough to make a decision on which parent to live with and understand the implications.

II. Financial Issues

(A) Child Support
EX NAME shall pay to MY NAME the table sum of child support in accordance with the Child Support Guidelines beginning on the 1st day of October, 2011. And continue on each month until the children are no longer children as defined by under the Family Law. We understand custody arrangements and incomes change, and we agree when circumstances change to adjust the monthly sum according to the Child Support Guidelines.
(B) Income Tax
EX NAME and MY NAME shall provide each other with a complete copy of his or her income tax return and any notices of assessment and reassessment issued to him or her by the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency on a annual basis on or before June 30th of each year.
In the event that someone has not filed an income tax return for the previous year, he or she shall provide the other party with copies of his or her T4, T4A and all other relevant tax slips and statements disclosing any and all sources of income, including self-employment income.
(C) Other Financial Issues
1. The primary residence shall claim the children on tax deductions.
2. The primary residence shall cover all extra costs of but not limited to; clothing, medical, education and extra curricular activities.

III. Medical

Any health concerns shall be discussed between both parties and what kind of care is needed.

IV. Basic Visitation Schedule

The non primary residence shall have but not limited to, every other weekend

V. Holidays

The holidays will alternate yearly except for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

VI. Birthdays

The non primary residence shall have the weekend following the birthdays to allow for celebration of the children.

VII. Vacations

The primary and non primary residence shall equally share summer; Christmas and March break unless other terms are agreed too.

VIII. Transportation

Weekend Visits
The exchange will take place at the primary residence; it is the responsibility of the non primary residence for pick up and returns.

Holidays, Special Occasions
The exchange will take place at the primary residence; it is the responsibility of the non primary residence for pick ups. The responsibility of returns shall be the primary residence.

VIV. Occasional Changes to the Schedule

Any changes to the schedule must be made:
• Verbally
• Can be made through E-mail

XV. Parent- Child Communication

While visiting or residing with one parent the children are free to call the other parent at anytime.
The Children may also contact the other parent through E-mail, Skype and Texting.

XVI. Decision Making

Day to Day Decision Making

The parent in whose care the children are at any given time will be responsible for the day to day decisions that need to be made during their time together.

This includes decisions regarding emergency health care and safety concerns.

XVII. Major Decisions

Both parents will collaborate on major decisions, such as education, non-emergency healthcare, and religious upbringing.

XVIII. Parent’s Communication about our children

We will communicate by e-mail. We will correspond in a respectful manner that addresses child-related issues only. The parent who is invited to respond will do so in a timely manner (even if the parent is simply responding saying she or he is unable to respond within the suggested timeline, and will get back to the other parent by a specific date.)

Information sent home with the children from school will be shared between the parents in a timely manner.

XIX. Travel with the Children

The parent planning to travel with the children will let the other parent know of the plans as soon as possible and request any documentation required, including a letter of permission. Requests to travel with the children will not be unreasonably withheld.

XX. Children’s Documents

The children's passports, birth certificates, and social insurance cards will be kept at primary residence. Both parents will have access to the documents as required.
The documents will be promptly returned following each use.

XXI. Relocation

We both agree that it is very important to our children that they have easy and uninterrupted access to both parents until their completion of elementary school.

However, in the event of unforeseen circumstances which involve a relocation of either parent, we agree that we will discuss together, or attend mediation if either believes that would be helpful, to make any necessary changes to the Parenting Plan which are in the best interests of the children. The parent who is planning to relocate will discuss the relocation at least 90 days in advance with the other parent.

XXII. Additional Considerations

(A) Child Care- In the event child care is needed for the children the non primary residence will be given consideration before calling a babysitter.

(B) Permanent Changes to the Parenting Plan Agreement- In order for permanent changes to the agreement to be applied both parties has to agree and resign the agreement.

(C) Contact with Extended Family- The children’s contact with extended family members takes place during scheduled times with the primary/ non primary residence. That does not interfere with scheduled arrangements already in place.

(D) Legal Changes in regards to the children- any legal matters regarding the children shall be discussed between both residences.

XXIII. Dispute Resolution Process

We agree that if a dispute occurs about any of the terms of this Parenting Plan, or any other issue regarding the children, we will first make a reasonable attempt to resolve the dispute between ourselves, including seeking any professional consultation which may be appropriate.

In the event that we are unable to reach a consensus, after having made a reasonable attempt to resolve the issue(s), we will attend mediation within fifteen (15) days from the time that the parent initiating the mediation has informed the other parent in writing of this intent. (We realize that the timeline of 15 days may be minimally extended to accommodate the mediator's schedule.) The parents will share equally the cost of mediation.

However, should a decision be required on an urgent basis, then either parent may proceed with an application to a Court of competent jurisdiction to determine the matter in issue.

We each acknowledge that we have been advised to seek independent legal advice prior to signing this Parenting Plan; that we have read the Parenting Plan and understand our respective rights and responsibilities outlined herein; and that we are signing this Parenting Plan voluntarily.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the Parties sign on (date) _______, __________, 2011
at (city) _________________, in the Province of ____________.

presence of ]
______________________________ ] ________________________
(Signature of Witness) ] Signature of
______________________________ ] EX NAME
(Print Name) ]
______________________________ ]
(Address) ]
______________________________ ]
(Occupation) ]

presence of:
___________________________________ ]
(Signature of Witness) ]
] __________________________
___________________________________ ] Signature of
(Print Name ] MY NAME) ]
___________________________________ ]
(Address) ]
___________________________________ ]
(Occupation) ]