A goal of a custody case is to create a parenting plan that meets the family’s needs. If you’re a domestic violence survivor, that plan needs to be safe for you and your children. A knowledgeable lawyer is one of the best sources of help. But many survivors cannot find or afford a lawyer. If you’re on your own, this guide has basic information on parenting plans to help you get started. Laws and programs may be different for each state, and even for courts in the same state. Some of the information here may not apply to your situation. To learn about your local laws, call your family court, self-help center, or law library. This guide by the Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody, a project of the NCJFCJ, can help create a safe parenting plan for domestic violence survivors and their children.