For California parents who are divorcing and have young children, a parenting plan can keep things running smoothly for both the parents and the kids. Not only can it help give a sense of normalcy for the children, but it can also help parents get the emotional closure they need to move on and create happy, well-adjusted households.
When the parents are first designing their parenting plan, they usually will be required to work around joint legal custody. This means that both parents will have to work together to make decisions for their children. The parenting plan will also determine when the kids will spend time with each parent. One parent may have the kids during the school week while the other parent may have them on certain weekends. The plan may also allow parents to share special days such as birthdays and holidays.
Although it is clear that parenting plans can prevent arguments between parents, there are other reasons that these plans should be taken seriously. Having a plan that works shows that both parents consider parenting to be a priority. Further, the parenting plan creates a written record on what was agreed upon if there are any arguments.
If the divorce was particularly difficult, parents may argue who will become the primary caregiver for the children. If the parents cannot come to an agreement regarding child custody, an attorney may argue that their client acted as the primary caregiver when the couple was still together. If the other parent is given primary custody, the attorney may help the parent set up a visitation schedule that allows them to continue to be a part of the children’s lives. This may include having the children visit during alternating holidays, birthdays and other special days.