2. Talk to your partner

You and your partner can try to agree on without going to court. Decision-making responsibility used to be called . You can talk to your partner on your own, with the help of someone you both trust, or with the help of a lawyer or mediator.

Some of the things you have to decide on are:

  • who makes major decisions about your child
  • who your child lives with
  • whether one of you has to pay child support and how much child support
  • how to discuss things to avoid conflicts
  • how to get information about your child from other people like doctors and teachers
  • how to deal with changes in the future

A parenting plan checklist can help you with the things you may have to think about. Not everything on the checklist may apply to your situation.

If you agree on issues related to your children, you can make a . A parenting plan can be an informal arrangement between the two of you, or it can be part of your .

Your parenting plan or separation agreement has to follow certain rules to make it binding and enforceable under the law. This means your agreement is made in a way that allows the court to order you or your partner to do what the agreement says, if either of you stop following it.

Talking to your partner may not be an option where there is a history of partner abuse.

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