As California parents navigate child custody issues, they will most likely need to work together to create a parenting plan. A well-designed parenting plan that considers the needs of the child and each of the parents in a balanced, fair manner can make shared parenting a lot easier.
What goes into designing a parenting plan?
There are certain things parents must consider when creating their parenting plan. These include:
- Schedules of both parents and the children
- Children’s school and extracurricular commitments
- Childcare arrangements for younger children
- Children’s ages and characteristics
- Distances between schools, activities and childcare locations and each parent’s home
How to work with an ex-spouse to create a parenting plan
Divorces can be contentious, but when it comes to child custody matters, parents will need to focus on the best interests of the children regardless of the issues that plagued their relationship. To do this, parents will need to set aside their differences or at least promote a healthy family environment. An important aspect of this is communication. There are many ways parents can communicate effectively without having to speak face to face. Parents can text, email or use apps and websites available to support families in this situation.
Additionally, parents should choose the things that they will fight for carefully; focusing on little things, such as what the kids eat in the other parent’s home, might not be worth the other issues that this can bring up. If parents are able to put the children first, they might have an easier time collaborating on a parenting plan.
Parents with older children should also consider listening to their children’s opinions on the parenting plan and schedule. This input might help parents decide how to divide the children’s time between the homes.
It takes careful planning to create a custody schedule based on the children’s ages and their particular needs. An attorney may help parents negotiate for the best possible outcome for all parties involved.