Kansas Judicial Branch Home
Kansas Judicial Branch

The Kansas Supreme Court
301 SW 10th Avenue
Topeka Kansas 66612-1507

Office of Judicial Administration
Fax:  785.296.7076
Email: info@kscourts.org

Appellate Clerk's Office
Fax:  785.296.1028
Email: appellateclerk@kscourts.org

Parent Plan Information

How to Prepare a Parenting Plan

A parenting plan is a document filed with the court to assist families who are going through a divorce by considering the effects of the divorce on all family members.

A parenting plan does not include issues relating to property division and financial issues.

A parenting plan requires the parents to put together a document regarding specific parenting duties. Both parents should be actively involved in the preparation of this document.

The best interests of the children are the top priority in preparing the parenting plan.

Your parenting plan should include:

  • A plan for both parents to continue to be involved with the children's activities including school, sports, and other interests;
  • An agreement about which parent will have residency of the children and a plan for parenting time with the other parent;
  • A plan for how major decisions will be made regarding the children's education, health care, and religious upbringing;
  • An agreement on a schedule for holidays, special occasions, vacations, and unique situations;
  • A plan to reduce harmful parental conflict, including a way to modify the agreement when necessary to adjust to the changing needs of the children and parents; and
  • An agreement to use mediation or other nonjudicial procedures to resolve any future disputes which may develop.

How to develop a parenting plan

Kansas law requires a court to develop a parenting plan when a divorce which involves children is filed in a court. The parents may both agree to a plan they develop, a plan their lawyers develop, or a plan developed with the assistance of a mediator. A judge will review the plan to insure it is in the best interest of the children. The court may approve the plan, modify the plan, or request that the parents develop a new plan.

Mediation or other nonjudicial procedures

State approved mediators may be used to help develop parenting plans. In some situations, with the consent of both parents, the court may refer parents to a court approved mediator.

During mediation, parents will meet at a specific time and place to work with a specially trained mediator. The mediator will act as a neutral third party to help the parents address future parenting plans.

The meetings are confidential and the final agreement is submitted to each parent's legal counsel. Legal counsel will then submit it to the court to be included in the final decree.

The costs of the mediation process are determined on a case by case basis.

If you can not resolve your dispute, a number of Kansas courts will require or encourage you to go mediation or some other form of dispute resolution to develop your permanent parenting plan.