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Extension > Family > Parents Forever™ > Resources for families > Taking Care of Yourself > The Legal Side of Family Transition > Creating a Parenting Plan > We agree: Creating a parenting plan

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Creating a Parenting Plan

Two adults talking

We agree: Creating a parenting plan

Research says that children do best when both of their parents are involved in their lives. When families change through separation, divorce, re-marriage, or a paternity action, a whole new set of challenges arises for parents and their children. A parenting plan can help parents successfully coparent in these situations. Some states, like Minnesota, may require the creation of a parenting plan depending the family's situation.

We agree: Creating a parenting plan helps parents make child-focused decisions about parenting. It includes a worksheet that will help them create a parenting plan that describes living arrangements, parenting time, rules, education, and other day-to-day and long-term issues. In addition, the publication addresses how to change the plan and deal with disagreements about the decisions.


Dear Parents (PDF)

Chapter 1: Before You Meet (PDF)

  • What is a parenting plan?
    • How to use this booklet
  • Why is it important to make a parenting plan together?
    • How courts are involved
    • "Best interests of the child"
  • How to share parenting time
  • How children grow
    • Infants and toddlers
    • Preschoolers
    • Elementary-middle schoolers
    • Adolescents
  • What we do well
  • What are our areas of agreement and disagreement?
  • Nobody knows your children as well as you do
  • Parenting well
    • What your children need from you
  • Parenting styles
    • Am I using a Positive Parenting style?

Chapter 2: Making Your Parenting Plan Together (PDF)

  • Elements of a successful meeting
  • Tips for reducing conflict

Chapter 3: Maintaining Your Parenting Plan (PDF)

  • When your children are moving between two households...
  • How to exchange information with the other parent
  • Tips on supporting your children's relationship with both of you
  • How to make ongoing decisions together
  • Changing your parenting plan

Parenting Agreement Worksheet (PDF) — This is also available as a fillable form (PDF).

Additional Resources and References (PDF)

Credits (PDF)

Related resources

Resources for families — The tools and articles on this website can help you not only survive, but thrive, after a family transition.

Minnesota Statute 518.1705 — Find out more about the Minnesota statute that allows creating parenting plans as part of parents legal agreement for the future care of their children.

Minnesota Statute 518.175 — Reviews the Minnesota statute on the protection of parenting time to maintain a child to parent relationship that will be in the best interests of the child.

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