Parenting Plans and Parental Plans – Questions and Answers

Parenting Plan Parental Plan Court Father Mother

Parenting Plans Questions and Answers


We introduced this Parenting Plans Questions and Answers page for you to post questions you may have on the topic. For example, if you want to know whether you should enter into a parenting plan, pose a question with some background facts. At the same time, should you be able to assist others who posted questions below, requiring some advice on Parenting Plans, please proceed and reply to their comments. In that manner, we would all be able to assist each other and increase our online knowledge base. Therefore, although we a are legal consultancy, specialising in family law, you may have problems or experiences that we have not encountered. Let us share in our knowledge of Parenting Plans.

Sections 33 and 34 of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005

Sections 33 and 34 of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 (the Act) deals with “parenting plans”. People that would find these sections useful are parents, legal practitioners, social workers, psychologists, social services professional. For an in-depth outline of the sections, visit this link on parenting plans and the law.

What is a parenting plan?

The Children’s Act 38 of 2005 does not provide a definition of a parenting plan. However, looking at the provisions of the Act and its Regulations dealing with parenting plans, one could define it as a written agreement between co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights outlining in detail their respective responsibilities and rights of care, contact, guardianship and maintenance with regard to a child.

Who should agree on a parenting plan?

Not all holders of parental responsibilities and rights need to agree on a parenting plan and have it registered with a Family Advocate or made an Order of the High Court. Parenting Plans should be entered into only if there is a need for it. However, the choice is always there for the parties should they wish to formalise one.

Section 33 of the Act provides for two (2) situations in which a parenting plan comes into play. This I shall refer to as the optional situation and the mandatory situation. For an in-depth outline of the sections, visit this link on parenting plans and the law.

Other family law resources on this website

There are various other family law resources on this website that you may find useful. For example, there is a downloadable child maintenance calculator. The resources may assist you with whatever questions you have, or the information you require on Parenting Plans. Therefore, after posting your question, or any time after, have a look at the useful resources and information on our website. Some of these resources are listed hereafter.

Articles and Q&A

There is a range of legal articles on this website dealing with various family law issues. Some of these articles are straight forward, outlining the legal position on a family law related topic. For example, how to apply for child maintenance, or how to get divorced. Other articles are written in the form of answering a specific legal question. For example, do I pay maintenance if I am unemployed, or what do I do if I want to leave the country with my child, and the other parent does not want to provide consent? Those articles are in blog format. This means that you are welcome to comment or pose questions to increase our knowledge base. The clear idea behind our website is that we want to make family law legal information more accessible and available to the public.

Downloadable resources

We created some downloadable resources for free on this website. They are:

1 Free Basic Will Tool Kit

2. Free Shariah Will Template

3. Free Divorce Starter Tool Kit

4. Free Child Maintenance Calculator

5. Free DIY Urgent Child Contact Toolkit

Feel free to download these useful resources. Click on the links above, and complete the online purchase process. The purchase price is R 0. Thereafter, a downloadable link would be emailed to you. Once you received the email, download it as soon as possible as the link would expire after two months. We hope that we assisted you with any queries you had on Parenting Plans. If not, feel free to arrange a consultation with us.


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21 thoughts on “Parenting Plans and Parental Plans – Questions and Answers

  1. Good Day

    Please advise if a parenting plan be signed before going to court as I feel that social worker is bias and not neutral or can it be signed when we get to court.

  2. Hello

    I am at wits end:

    We have a parenting plan, but my ex wife is being very spiteful toward me
    She is flexing certain things in the parenting plan and I have currently seen a Social Worker from the Western Cape Government, who i think, isnt taking me seriously or he is just over-worked.

    Can i approach the courts for advice, perhaps the clerk of the family court?

  3. Hi. So I am a father of a one year old girl who is living in Jhb (where my daughter was born) and when she was about 6months old her mom and I broke up. As a result of us breaking up she has moved back into her elderly moms home all the way in ballito. We weren’t married but shared fully the excitement and responsibility of all prebirth costs and she was born here in JHb. So.. After 6months of constant and very costly drives there and back its gotten to the point where my x has started saying things like until the child is at least 3 years old she expects me to have to cater and house my x here in jhb if I want to see my child. So I have always financially done my share and couldn’t force her to live here in jhb even although we both planned a life here umtill we broke up. Its been 6 months and I am feeling like my responsibility and right to be her father is being held back by my X. Consistently reliving old personal relationship issues we had over ,6monts ago and assuming that without her being present in jhb myself and my family here can’t get our time with my daughter. What is a reasonable way to divide time fairly considering the distance we are now apart.
    Please please please help me

    1. Good day

      You and the mother must try to agree on a parenting plan. Look around for someone in the area where the mother lives who can assist you. There are many social workers and psychologists etc who do these types of work. Otherwise, we advise you to approach the Children’s Court where the mother lives to resolve the issues. If it is within your budget, also consider making use of a lawyer.

  4. can she demand to have everything that my kids since the child is register in my husband name

  5. Hi.
    We were together for 10 years, but were not married. We split now recently and I have suggested we have a parenting plan set up.
    The father does not want to sign, as he wants the “primary caretaker” description to be removed from my name. He is also wanting 50/50 custody.
    He does not have an attorney, and I feel my attorney is not the best fit, as she is very young and there is no urgency in my case. What do I do?

    1. Good day
      No one can force a parent to sign a Parenting Plan. You should then proceed with a hearing to decide what is best for your child. If you are not happy with your legal representative, you need to address it with him or her, and if that does not work, maybe change lawyers.

    1. You are both co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights. You both must care for the child to the best of your capabilities. How that is done and who does what depends on your unique circumstances.

  6. I would like to know during festive season can the mother take the child for Christmas to visit then the father takes the child for new years eve to visit him or vice visa?

  7. Good Day
    Parenting Plan is in WA state jurisdiction. It states Father is to collect child within 1 week of school ending, so in this case school ended May 23rd so May 31 (today) is a week. I have received no itinerary for flight travel, but the child mentioned that his father said he would fly on June 4th…as he (father) is out of town on his birthday weekend. Since the week window is “not convenient” for this Father, do I have a legal right not to allow the child to fly for his summer visitation? Thank You in advance for assistance in this matter.

  8. How does a parenting plan work for a 3 year old girl.is the father allowed to take her for holiday if we are living far apart. Every single holiday must it be split.

    1. The nature of a parenting plan is by agreement. Only you and the father would know what can work for you two and the child. No one else. Best you discuss it, and if you cannot come to an agreement, see a mediator before going to court.

  9. Good day
    Can you explain the relevance of a parenting plan?
    I am divorced and my ex husband thinks we should get a parenting plan legally drafted but I don’t think its necessary.

    Kindly elaborate.

    1. Good day
      In essence, a parenting is appropriate for parents who constantly disagrees on parenting aspects. For example, when contact should be exercised. The Plan would be drafted with the purpose of avoiding future disputes. So if there is an issue, you refer to the plan.

  10. Good afternoon.
    The father of my children and I cannot agree on a Parenting Plan. What can I do?

    1. Good day Marie

      A parenting plan by its very definition is a document the parents agree to. If you and the father cannot come to an agreement, then a court would have to intervene. This can be very expensive and time consuming. What we suggest is that you try to see a more experienced mediator to resolve the matter and to get you to agree on a Parenting Plan.

    2. Hello

      If you cannot agree on a Parenting Plan, we would suggest you see a professional to assist you . Here you can use a lawyer, social work, psychologist or other suitably qualified person. If that does not work,, and there are still issues, a court would have to be approached to resolve it. This can however be expensive and only a last resort.

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