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A revised edition of the Parenting Plan booklet was published by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) at the beginning of March 2005: Parenting Plans - Putting your children first: A guide for separating parents reflects extensive consultation with parents, young people and organisations involved in supporting families in difficulty. It has been developed as an easily accessible guide and divided into clear sections to help parents think about the arrangements.
Parenting Plans (the Plans) are designed to help parents come to agreements so that they either do not need to come to court at all, or if they do come to court then they have either narrowed down the issues on which they have not been able to agree and are asking the court to decide, or they are asking the court to make a consent order for the arrangements they have agreed. Where parties are legally represented, the Plans are not intended for detailed completion by the parties in conjunction with their legal representative. Although their lawyer may provide advice and help on the Plans, the intention is that parents should largely work through the Plans themselves.
Family courts will be receiving copies of a flyer to promote the new Parenting Plans and court staff are being asked to make the Parenting Plan booklets available to parties, or their representatives when filing or requesting an application for residence or contact at the public counter. Hard copies of the Parenting Plans can be ordered from www.orderprocessor.co.uk or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to Freepost, PO Box 2001, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH1 8BR. The parenting plan can be viewed online at www.cafcass.gov.uk/English/Publications/information/ParentingPlans.pdf
The Red Book is the acknowledged authority on practice and procedure