California parents know that parenting during and after a divorce can be a challenging situation. However, collaborating during the divorce negotiations to come up with a parenting plan that works well for all parties might be a key step in successful co-parenting after the marriage ends.

According to experts, working together to create a parenting plan that works is necessary to lessen the impact of the divorce on the children. It also means that the parents are putting the children and their best interests first. One of the first things parents need to figure out when dealing with child custody issues is where the children will live and how their time will be divided after the divorce. There is no one solution that fits all situations, so the couple needs to consider the options available and how they would best work in their family’s particular situation.

The attitude both parents bring to the planning will also affect how successful a parenting plan they create. Experts advise being respectful of each person’s privacy, being flexible with time as emergencies and other out-of-the norm situations can arise, and encouraging and supporting the children’s relationships with the other parent. Another important aspect is to plan regular meetings, whether in person, on the phone or even with their lawyers present, to discuss the changing needs of the children.

Having a plan for future conflict resolution will also help prevent additional complications to any situations that might come up. Finally, both parents should be aware of their own limitations and expectations as they resolve on a fair and equitable agreement.

Divorcing parents might consider the guidance a lawyer with family law experience can offer, including knowledge about local legislation and how to solve conflicts. A lawyer may also provide further support by representing their client in negotiations.